Racing: Pipe ambitions blocked

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The Independent Online
FAILURE again for Martin Pipe and Peter Scudamore as they attempted to go through the card at Newton Abbot. At the same meeting last year they notched up the first five winners, this time they were expected to go one better but managed only four successes.

For racegoers it looked as if it was going to be a dull day of domination by the two champions after they took the first two events with horses priced at 2-17 and 2-9. The third race seemed even less promising with just two runners lining up, but produced a riveting spectacle as Scudamore, on Skipping Tim, was stretched to the limit to hold Richard Dunwoody on Four Trix by a head. 'Two brilliant jockeys on two good horses. You won't find a better race than that,' Pipe said.

That was the end of Pipe's rout. Nigel Twiston-Davies, Scudamore's friend and business partner, did the damage by saddling Miss Simone to beat Myverygoodfriend and although Galway Star made it four for Pipe, his Passed Pawn failed to make the frame in the last.

At Epsom there was a win, a fall and a more serious setback for the South African champion jockey, Jeff Lloyd. The success, on Rocality, came with the assistance of misjudgment by the jockeys who trekked to the stands' rails in search of faster ground, while Lloyd and his compatriot Michael Roberts stuck to the far side to dominate the finish.

The spill happened when Cradle Days, 4-1 favourite for the sprint handicap, clipped the heels of the horse in front. Immediately back on his feet, Lloyd was able to ride later in the afternoon, but is to have his spell here terminated by a more powerful force than gravity, the Jockey Club.

Although he is a British passport holder, Lloyd's riding licence is held by the South African turf authority and he is thus restricted to 30 days riding here in any one year. 'Only in exceptional circumstances would an extension be granted,' Michael Caulfield, secretary of the Jockeys' Association, said. But with the local riders objecting, many quite bluntly, about the impact of foreign jockeys in Britain, an extension is most unlikely.