Racing: Whip ban for Maguire

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ADRIAN MAGUIRE and Christy Roche were both found guilty of whip abuse yesterday, with the repercussions being rather more serious for Maguire whose seven-day punishment includes the Whitbread Gold Cup and Punchestown Festival.

Maguire, widely tipped to succeed Peter Scudamore at Martin Pipe's stable, was deemed to have used his whip with unreasonable force and frequency on Greenwine, who lost the handicap chase at Fontwell to St Athans Lad by just a length. The 16 strokes that Roche applied to Desert Team, runner up to Placerville at Newmarket, brought him a four-day ban that will finish just before Newmarket's Guineas meeting.

Maguire is at Ayr today where he partners Staunch Friend in the Scottish Champion Hurdle. Ruling (3.30), who went some way to restoring his reputation behind Morley Street at Aintree, looks best at today's weights.

At Newbury, Thawakib (3.10) can give John Dunlop, Hamdan Al Maktoum and Willie Carson a third Fred Darling Stakes success in four years. She did not achieve as much as Salsabil or Shadayid as a juvenile, but was sufficiently impressive in her two victories to hold Sueboog here.