Sport Horse Racing

Friday 20 April 2018

No action to be taken against jockeys for 'insubordination' at Grand National

An inquiry into the start of the Aintree Grand National on April 5 was referred on to the British Horseracing Authority after jockeys chose not to participate in the on-course hearing.
An inquiry into the start of the Aintree Grand National on April 5 was referred on to the British Horseracing Authority after jockeys chose not to participate in the on-course hearing.
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

The 39 riders who refused to co-operate with an inquiry into the stuttering start of this year's Aintree Grand National will not have to answer to the authorities, for this act of insubordination, but the original investigation will be pursued.

It has been revealed that the British Horse Racing Authority (BHA) will not take any action against the group – which includes Barry Geraghty, Davy Russell and AP McCoy – for their act of defiance.

Led by senior members of the weigh-room, the 39 riders collectively decided not to co-operate with the stewards' inquiry, after learning that a blanket ban was to be imposed for their coming forward to line up prior to being called to do so by the starter.

"After reviewing all the available evidence we have taken the decision not to pursue any charges relating to the fact that we were unable to complete the Stewards' enquiry on the day. This is also a reflection of the scale of the challenge in conducting an enquiry in such circumstances," said Jamie Stier, director of Raceday Operations and Regulation for BHA.

The assistant starter Simon McNeill was knocked to the ground when the field first came forward.

"This all occurred after riders in the Grand National had been briefed in advance of the race about conduct at the start, which emphasised the obligation under the Rules for the riders to obey the starter's instructions," Stier added.

"The Disciplinary Panel will now determine whether any of the riders in question are in breach of the Rules of Racing."

Meanwhile, Aidan O'Brien will continue his search for Classic clues with Mekong River (Joseph O'Brien) and Blue Hussar (Ryan Moore) in tomorrow's Lingfield Derby trial, before Giovanni Boldini will strive to secure him a fourth triumph in the French 2,000 Guineas at Longchamp on Sunday.

O'Brien has also confirmed that last week's 2,000 Guineas ninth War Command will next tackle the Irish equivalent at the Curragh on Saturday fortnight, when he's likely to run into John Gosden's narrow Newmarket runner-up Kingman once more.

The Etihad Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas takes place on the Sunday and Euro Charline could bid to improve upon her Newmarket run should conditions be suitable.

Connections felt she neither handled the undulations nor the quick ground in the Qipco 1,000 Guineas on Sunday, but were pleased with a prominent showing that saw her take fifth place behind Miss France.

Irish Independent

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