Racing: Second two-day ban for Eddery

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The Independent Online
PAT EDDERY picked up a two- day ban before racing even started at Sandown Park yesterday. Eddery, with a suspension for careless riding already hanging over him, was stood down for improper use of the whip on Las Flores in the last race at Sandown on Friday.

The jockey's quick getaway after the race cost him dear; the stewards, unable to start without him, held the inquiry over until yesterday morning and, given the mandatory nine-day gap between sentence and punishment, the ban, on 2 and 3 May means Eddery will miss the first day of Chester's big May meeting. He was also fined pounds 160 for his hasty exit.

Eddery's appeal against his earlier ban which, if upheld, will rule him out of this Saturday's 2,000 Guineas, at Newmarket, is likely to be held on Wednesday. His possible mount, Distant View, is likely to take his chance in the 2,000 after working well for the jockey Willie Ryan on the Newmarket gallops yesterday morning.

Lester Piggott, chasing his 31st Classic winner, rides the Luca Cumani-trained Suplizi in the 2,000 Guineas. And Piggott's name is being linked with Fairy Heights in the 1,000 Guineas.

Neville Callaghan's filly completed her preparation for Thursday's 1,000 with an impressive spin on Newmarket Heath in company with Jack Banks's 2,000 Guineas colt Indhar. Ryan was in the saddle but, with Lester sniffing around after Lemon Souffle's withdrawal, Ryan may need superglue to stay there.

Nineteen fillies were left in the 1,000 Guineas at the five- day stage. They include challengers from the United States (Irish Forever), and Dubai (Balanchine). The John Dunlop-trained Mehthaaf remains the 2-1 favourite in most lists, with her stablemate Bulaxie and the French hope Coup de Genie next in demand.