Racing: McCoy the whipping boy as ban increases

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The Independent Online
Tony McCoy last night failed in his appeal against a four-day suspension imposed by the Aintree stewards after his winning ride on Pridwell in the Martell Aintree Hurdle on Saturday.

In a double blow the champion jockey had the ban increased by two days, preventing him from race riding from 13 April to 18 April inclusive.

McCoy left Jockey Club headquarters in London grim-faced and without commenting, but his legal representative, Andrew Chalk, spoke to waiting reporters.

"Tony thought he had a good chance," Chalk said. "You can definitely say that he is disappointed. A letter had been supplied by Pridwell's trainer Martin Pipe claiming that Pridwell would not have won the race had excessive force been used."

The disciplinary committee heard evidence from McCoy himself, an Aintree steward and viewed video recordings of the race before making their decision. In the race itself Pridwell, under a typically forceful ride from McCoy, rallied gamely to beat champion hurdle winner and 4-7 favourite Istabraq by a head.

Joe Naughton, the Epsom trainer, was earlier fined pounds 2,000 by the Jockey Club disciplinary committee yesterday following the running of Hever Golf Mover at Wolverhampton last Saturday.

Rachael Moody, Hever Golf Mover's rider, had appealed against a 10-day ban imposed by the Wolverhampton stewards at the time, but it was dismissed by the disciplinary committee.

It was Naughton's second penalty this year, as he had been fined pounds 1,400 under the same ``non triers regulations'' after Lady Jazz's running on the same track last month. Naughton commented: "I had a fair hearing, and the result could have been worse considering it was a second offence. It must have been a marginal decision."

However the trainer added: "I stand by my claim that both horses at Wolverhampton were trying 100 per cent.''