Racing: Suspended Eddery will miss King George

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The Independent Online
PAT EDDERY'S determination to catch Michael Roberts in the race for the jockeys' championship proved counter productive last night when he was suspended for five days by the stewards at Sandown for excessive use of the whip on Kandy Secret, on whom he won the claiming race.

The ban could not have come at a worse time for Eddery as it will run from next Friday to the following Tuesday and will thus exclude him from Ascot's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in which he would have ridden either the second-favourite, Saddlers' Hall, or last year's St Leger winner, Toulon. He will also miss the first Sunday meeting at Doncaster and the opening day of Glorious Goodwood.

The win on Kandy Secret was the 100th of the season for Eddery, but still left him eight behind Roberts who was successful in the last race at Yarmouth. Rachel Tonks, the stewards' secretary officiating at Sandown, said that the stewards had taken the action because Eddery hit his mount 19 times in the home straight. The horse was unmarked.

Chris Rutter also fell foul of the stewards for careless riding after finishing third on Hebridean in the handicap that closed the card. He was banned for four days (24- 27 July) and his mount disqualified.

Sandown has won its fifth consecutive Course of the Year award from the Racegoers Club - and its 10th in all since the competition's inauguration in 1972. Regional prizes were divided between the categories of large and small tracks and went to: Ayr and Sedgefield (Scotland and Northern England); York and Chester (North and North Midlands); Newmarket and Uttoxeter (East Anglia and South Midlands); Cheltenham and Wincanton (South West); Sandown and Fontwell (South East).