Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 23 November 2017

Furious Ruby weighs up appeal against whip ban

Marcus Armytage

The Professional Jockeys Association has asked for legal advice before deciding whether it is worth Ruby Walsh launching an appeal against his five-day ban for excessive use of the whip at Aintree on Saturday.

Walsh was furious at his ban as he believed that he had struck Edgardo Sol only the permitted eight times behind the saddle.

However, the Aintree stewards decreed that a slap down the neck by Walsh also constituted a stroke of the whip and banned him. The PJA understands, however, that some discretion on the part of the stewards is meant to be involved.

The British Horseracing Authority spent yesterday reflecting on the weekend's events when a strike by Walsh's fellow jockeys over his ban was narrowly averted by the intervention of champion jockey AP McCoy.

Meanwhile, Wetherby stages the main jumps action this Saturday, and while there are no Irish entries for the Charlie Hall Chase, there are four invaders -- Gordon Elliott's Carlito Brigante and Russian War, and Stuart Crawford's duo of Killyglen and Now This Is It -- lined up for the John Smith's Hurdle.

The Philip Hobbs-trained Fair Along is in line to bid for a third successive win in this staying hurdle, while Paul Nicholls may run last year's Cheltenham Gold Cup fourth What A Friend.

Noel Meade's Realt Dubh could return to action at Naas this weekend. The three-time Grade One winner has been entered in Saturday's Poplar Square Chase.

Noble Prince was forced to play second fiddle to Realt Dubh on more than one occasion last season but may renew rivalry with the benefit of a recent spin on the level.

Loosen My Load also has race fitness on his side after a win at Navan and a second in a Limerick Grade Three, while Galway Plate heroine Blazing Tempo would be stepping up in class after her fourth in the Kerry National. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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