Weaver a rebel with a cause

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The Independent Online
He is not exactly James Dean, but the deferential world of horseracing seems to have acquired a rebel. The jockey Jason Weaver yesterday decided to continue his battle with the Jockey Club by appealing against his latest ban for irresponsible riding, which rules him out of Newmarket's Cesarewitch meeting next week.

Weaver got a four-day suspension at Pontefract on Monday which, if confirmed, will activate a five-day suspended punishment under the new totting-up system, taking Weaver's days-banned this year to 42.

Weaver said: "The punishment is far too much and, having viewed the incident, I have decided to appeal. Rules are rules but what happened was minimal. I don't consider myself a rough jockey. My other colleagues don't consider me a dirty jockey. But things have got worse this year. It was not a case of trying to win at all costs. I was just trying to do my best."

The Tote was attacked by George Howarth, Shadow Minister for Home Affairs, at the British Betting Offices' Association seminar in West Bromwich yesterday. Howarth said: The leadership of the Tote has been poor. It needs shaking up."

Howarth added Labour would try to introduce further betting duty cuts for bookmakers and pools companies so they could compete with the National Lottery.

The Arc winner, Helissio, stays in training next year after his owner rejected a $25m offer for him. Helissio runs next in the Japan Cup.

Ireland's National Stakes winner, Desert King, misses this weekend's Grand Criterium in France to contest the Dewhurst Stakes instead.

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