Wednesday 19 December 2018

Blackmore ordered back to school after ban

Rachael Blackmore
Rachael Blackmore

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

She may be leading the Irish jumps jockeys' championship, but Rachael Blackmore will have to head back to the Racing Academy and Centre of Education (RACE) HQ at the Curragh for "one day's tuition on the correct use of the whip".

Blackmore has enjoyed a blistering start to the new season, notching up 27 wins so far, but her milestone treble at Tipperary on July 22 was tainted when she picked up a ban, ruling her out of five race days for excessive use of the whip on Henry de Bromhead's Classic Theatre.

That ban was reduced to three race days (August 9, 11 and 12) on appeal yesterday after the 29-year-old claimed that the stewards were incorrect in their interpretation of the rules with regards to whip use.

In her evidence, Blackmore justified her use of the whip down the shoulder on Classic Theatre as she was trying to keep her mount straight and also to keep the other horse involved in the finish (Jessica Harrington's Thirsty Work, which was beaten by a head) from leaning in.

The Appeals Body reduced the suspension to three race days and confirmed that she also must attend RACE for a day for a tutorial on the correct use of the whip.

The Tipperary jockey's appeal deposit was returned, but that she was ordered to contribute €250 towards the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board costs.

The reduction in her ban will give the Killenaule native more opportunities to maintain her slender lead at the head of affairs over Paul Townend (20 winners), but reigning champion Davy Russell and the returning Ruby Walsh are likely to have a huge say in where the title goes.

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