Racing: Sabre cuts at Bobzao

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The Independent Online
THE SEARCH for recompense for the two most controversial disqualifications of the year starts today. Reg Akehurst's appeal against the Goodwood stewards' decision to demote Knowth from first place in a valuable handicap at the course last Tuesday will be heard at the Jockey Club's headquarters this morning. On Saturday, Sabrehill, who was disqualified in favour of Bobzao at Newbury last month, takes on the same horse in the Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock.

The connections of Bobzao are confident they will give Henry Cecil's charge a contest, despite the fact that Sabrehill was a comfortable three-length 'winner' of the Newbury race. 'We are not frightened of Sabrehill. Our horse will be in the field as long as it's fast ground and he goes there with a good chance,' a spokesman for the horse's trainer, Terry Mills, said. 'The ground at Newbury was good - he's a much better horse when it rides fast.'

Michael Roberts, who rode Sabrehill at Newbury, was judged to have knocked Bobzao out of the way to gain a clear passage and was banned for 10 days. He returns on Thursday.

Dermot Browne, the former jump jockey and trainer, failed to appear at Oxford Crown Court yesterday to answer charges of burglary and theft of a firearm. Browne, 31, who had been living on the Blackbird Leys estate in Oxford, was said by his lawyer to have absconded while on bail. Browne is charged with a burglary at a cottage. Items alleged to have been stolen include a rifle, a 12-bore shotgun, ammunition and jewellery. A warrant was issued for Browne's arrest for failing to attend the hearing. Browne lost his licence to train last year and was warned off by the Jockey Club for 10 years for being in breach of six rules of racing, including giving information to a bookmaker in return for monetary reward.