Tuesday 20 February 2018

Amateur rider James Ridley banned for 28 days in Newbury drama

James Ridley
James Ridley

Amateur rider James Ridley was handed a 28-day ban when he mistook the winning post at Newbury as Triangular came from the clouds and claimed victory in the BJP Insurance Brokers Open Hunters' Chase.

The winner was a first runner under Rules for Ciara Fry, and she might never have a more dramatic one.

Lookslikerainted, a 33-1 chance, appeared to have seen off main challenger Duke Of Lucca when that one departed at the last, and Ridley was poised to register a rare winner.

However, on passing the pole to signify there was half a furlong to run, Ridley began to ease his mount down and Triangular (100-30), under Ben Godfrey, finished strongly along with Ballytober, and both sped past Ridley leaving him to finish third.

At the resulting inquiry, Ridley suggested the half-furlong pole had caused the problem, with the stewards ruling he was guilty of failing to ride out on a horse that would have finished first.

Lookslikerainted's trainer Martin Wilesmith took the reverse in good spirit.

"Listen, obviously I'm a little upset but compared to what happened on Westminster Bridge the other day it is absolutely nothing," said Wilesmith.

"I'm thrilled with the horse and just looking forward to when we can run him again now.

"Nobody has died so we'll just look forwards. James has apologised."

Ridley, 27, offered his apologies on Twitter, saying: "Completely gutted for misjudging the winning post today! Sorry for everyone involved #nobodymoreangrythanmyself."

Press Association

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