Tuesday 24 January 2017

Sexton, Grant suspended as Lordan moves to Ballydoyle

Johnny Ward

Published 08/11/2016 | 02:30

Kevin Sexton is set to face six months sidelined after the Turf Club suspended him for a positive drugs test at the Galway festival. Photo: Sportsfile
Kevin Sexton is set to face six months sidelined after the Turf Club suspended him for a positive drugs test at the Galway festival. Photo: Sportsfile

Kevin Sexton is set to face six months sidelined after the Turf Club suspended him for a positive drugs test at the Galway festival.

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The former champion conditional was yesterday given a two-year ban, starting on November 21, but the last 18 months will be deferred if he does not test positive in the same period. Sexton was found to have cocaine in his system during the Galway test.

The highly talented and popular rider will now aim to rebuild his career, yet he has had enormous support from trainers and owners since news emerged of his failed test.

Sexton won the lucrative Troytown Chase for Gordon Elliott in 2014. After a brief spell out of the stable, he resumed riding for Elliott recently, partnering a winner at Galway.

Danny Grant's future is up in the air and he could be sidelined until September 2019. Grant was also found guilty of having a prohibited substance when tested at Galway. Grant accepted that he was in breach of Rule 277(I).

As he was stood down from September 2, the start date for the suspension is this date. The 18-month suspended penalty from 2014 begins on this date and ends on March 2, 2018.

A further penalty of three years was imposed to run concurrently from September 2. Grant can make an application to the Referrals Committee at any time after March 2, 2018 to lift the suspension.

The source of the cocaine metabolite was accepted as the Mate De Coca tea which Grant had to recommence taking to aid an extremely troubling skin condition.

Meanwhile, Wayne Lordan will ride for Aidan O'Brien from the start of 2017 on, the Irish Independent can reveal.

One of the most respected jockeys in the business, Lordan joins Ballydoyle after his long-time ally David Wachman called time on his training career.

Some of the Wachman horses will be switched to Fozzy Stack and others to Ballydoyle. Hugely promising filly White Satin Dancer will race in France.

Ruby Walsh sat out Fairyhouse yesterday with a minor back issue, while David Mullins was also out of action due to a torn calf muscle. Both are set to return when jumps racing resumes at the weekend.

Paul Nicholls will have four runners in Saturday's BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham and Sam Twiston-Davies may yet ride in the race.

Twiston-Davies bruised his kidneys and spleen in a fall at Chepstow last month. He rode out for Nicholls yesterday morning.

The stable's Modus has been well-backed for Sunday's StanJames.com Greatwood Handicap Hurdle and is as low as 7/1.

Irish Independent

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