Jockeys Davy Russell and Philip Enright look set to sit out three-days of the busy Christmas period after both picked up five-day bans from the Clonmel stewards after being involved in quite an unusual incident during racing yesterday afternoon.
Russell was riding the Charles Byrnes-trained Leave At Dawn who was the 8/13 favourite for the Powerstown Handicap Hurdle following his facile success in a similar contest at Thurles last Thursday.
The JP McManus-owned four-year-old made a mistake at the very first hurdle however at which point Russell lost his whip and when beside Philip Enright, who was riding Eddie Cawley's Backinyourbox, Russell apparently asked Enright for his whip before reaching across to take it.
Leave At Dawn made another couple of mistakes during the race before finishing eighth, while Enright was further back on the 33/1 shot in 12th.
The acting stewards on the day were clearly less than impressed by the incident and banned the riders for five days each under Rule 272 which is bringing racing into disrepute.
The five-day ban means that both jockeys will miss December 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28.
Russell said: "I never set out to do this as it wasn't premeditated.
"The suspension has come as a bit of a shock."
Russell, who will renew his partnership with Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere in the John Durkan at Punchestown on Sunday, will ride Vukovar in the Tingle Creek for trainer Harry Fry tomorrow.
The two-time champion jockey has been used by a number of trainers in recent weeks across the water and would have a number of high profile rides to look forward to during the Christmas period, while Enright is a regular at Limerick's Christmas meeting where he has had a lot of success in recent years.