Racing: Eddery hits ton but hit by ban

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The Independent Online
Pat Eddery reached his century for the season at Windsor yesterday, but his championship hopes received a jolt when he was handed a three- day ban for careless riding. The reigning champion hit the ton for the 24th time in the last 25 years when scoring on Salmon Ladder and Risque Lady. But sandwiched between those successes came his suspension when second on Lasham in the Earley Nursery Handicap.

Ray Cochrane and Vic Soane had their explanations recorded over the running of a two-year-old at the meeting. The pair were called before the stewards after Persian Sabre, having her third run, finished sixth, beaten approximately eight lengths behind Risque Lady, in the EBF Maiden Stakes. Cochrane told the stewards that he was instructed to settle the filly in behind, to cover her up and to come with a long run. He said that he was denied a clear run in the last two furlongs.

Soane, Persian Sabre's trainer, confirmed the riding instructions, expressed his satisfaction with Cochrane's riding and added that the filly had been very fractious in the stalls on her previous run at Newbury. However the stewards, after viewing the video, decided to record their explanations.

Michael Stoute yesterday announced that the leading Ebor fancy Mohawk River- 12-1 with William Hill - is a definite runner in tomorrow's big handicap at York. The trainer also said that the pounds 100,000-added race is the "preferred option" for Purist, who bypasses an alternative engagement today. Purist, set to carry 7st 10lb and also 12-1 with William Hill, was withdrawn from this afternoon's Great Voltigeur Stakes yesterday morning.

However, final plans for the Yarmouth winner Purist could depend on whether Robert Armstrong runs the top weight Kutta, in whose absence the weights would rise 4lb.

Armstrong said: "If the ground is good to soft Kutta will run. They had a quarter of an inch of rain last night but they will need more if he is to run."

Like several other recent Group races, Saturday's Celebration Mile at Goodwood will suffer from a small field. Only five horses - Cape Cross, Among Men, Peartree House, Polar Prince and Wixim - were left in the Group Two event yesterday.

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