Monday 23 October 2017

Spencer set to miss Shergar Cup over 'careless riding' ban

Namhroodah, with Jamie Spencer up, just gets the better of Red Box (Luke Morris) in the Valiant Stakes only to be demoted following a stewards' inquiry Photo: Julian Herbert/PA Wire
Namhroodah, with Jamie Spencer up, just gets the better of Red Box (Luke Morris) in the Valiant Stakes only to be demoted following a stewards' inquiry Photo: Julian Herbert/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

There was a dramatic conclusion to the Valiant Stakes at Ascot yesterday when first-past-the-post Namhroodah was demoted to third place, with Red Box being declared the winner.

The stewards took the view that Ryan Moore on favourite Irish Rookie had come off worst as he went for a gap between the long-time leader, ridden by Jamie Spencer, and the far rail inside the final furlong.

As Namhroodah hung on, Irish Rookie had to settle for third, with Red Box (14/1) splitting the pair.

An inquiry was immediately called and the outcome was the promotion of the Mark Prescott-trained Red Box to first place.

The victory completed a double on the day for Prescott and rider Luke Morris after they had earlier teamed up to take the John Guest Brown Jack Stakes with Sea Of Heaven (9/4 favourite), which could now be targeted at the Cesarewitch.

In a double blow to Spencer, the stewards found him guilty of careless riding "in that, having shifted away from the rail he allowed his mount to drift back towards it without appearing to be aware that Irish Rookie was on his inside".

He was banned for three days (August 5-7) and as a result will miss the Shergar Cup back at Ascot, where he was due to captain the Great Britain and Ireland team.

Stipendiary steward Paul Barton said of the decision to overturn the result: "We considered Irish Rookie would have beaten Namhroodah without the interference, all that momentum she had built up disappeared with the interference.

"Namhroodah has to go behind Irish Rookie which means Red Box gets the race. That's just the way the rule works."

He added: "For it to be improper riding, Jamie had to know that Ryan Moore was there, we didn't consider that but we considered he was careless as he should have checked to see if anybody was on the rail.

Morris said: "I had one go against me yesterday in London so it was nice to get one back. That was my 100th winner of the year but it was a strange way to get 100 up.

"I followed Irish Rookie through and in another two or three strides she would have won in her own right," he maintained.

Irish Independent

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