Murphy gets nine-day ban for skirmish
FORCED to sit out last Saturday's Hennessy Gold Cup after dislocating his shoulder in a weigh-room fracas with Dominic Elsworth, Timmy Murphy has had salt rubbed into the wound with a nine-day ban.
The Kildare native was given the suspension by the British Horseracing Authority for his role in the incident.
Murphy (39) admitted instigating two separate skirmishes with Elsworth in a short period of time at Newbury last Friday before being found guilty of violent and improper conduct.
His suspension (December 19-22 and 26-30) means he will now miss all the major Christmas activity unless he decides to appeal the finding or the severity of the ban.
Meanwhile, terrestrial TV viewers should get the chance to see Quevega's historic bid to win at a sixth Cheltenham Festival in March after it was revealed that the mares' Grade Two hurdle is to switch from its traditional Tuesday slot.
It will now be the fifth race instead of the sixth, with the cross-country race going from race five on Tuesday to the same berth 24 hours later.
Elsewhere, disgraced trainer Gerard Butler has described his use of anabolic steroids that led to the BHA handing him a five-year ban as "one disastrous lapse."
"I have made a big mistake and am paying a big price," Butler said. "I will try to pick up the pieces."