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Adam Kirby

Adam Kirby: finished tenth of 13 on Pipers Piping at Kempton

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

Adam Kirby still keen on title chances despite ban

ADAM KIRBY is confident his chances of bagging a first all-weather jockeys' title will not be harmed, despite being hit with a seven-day ban after being found guilty of making insufficient effort on Pipers Piping at Kempton in December.

Kirby, who at the start of Thursday led Jim Crowley by 21 winners on 48-27, finished tenth of 13 on the seven-year-old in a class 6 handicap over seven furlongs.

The Racing Post's close-up comment read: "Dwelt, held up towards rear, not clear run over 1f out, never in challenging position."

No stewards' inquiry was held on the day but following an internal BHA review of the race Kirby was charged with a breach of rule B (59.4), in that he failed to take "all reasonable and permissible measures to ensure the gelding was run on its merits".

The rider faced a disciplinary panel at the BHA offices in London on Thursday before heading to Lingfield to ride. The panel found that Kirby was "not vigorous enough" and did not take advantage of a gap on the John Butler-trained Pipers Piping.

At the course, Kirby told the Racing Post: "I suppose it was a fair hearing but I think the penalty was harsh enough. I think I got the horse to run an absolute screamer by riding him the way I did but unfortunately they didn't take kindly to it. The horse before then was beaten a stupid amount of lengths and he's been beaten a stupid amount since.

"There was a reason why I didn't take the gap because the horse wasn't good enough to take it and the reason why I wasn't over-vigorous was because he's proven in his form that he doesn't take to hard riding. The last time he won was with a girl on him and I thought he ran a good race on the day and I thought I did well to get him to run as well as he did.

"I rode him like that for a reason because that's what he appreciates. The stewards on the day haven't picked up on it because I don't think I've done a thing wrong and I don't think they've done any wrong by not picking up on it.

"He's a very moderate animal and it's shame that someone has been punished. It's very frustrating for me. I just need to have a think about appealing. It's all been a bit of rush, I've jumped on a train and come straight here, missed my first ride which I'm annoyed about.

"I don't think it will affect the all-weather championship one bit."

Kirby was handed the minimum suspension for the offence, which carries a maximum ban of 21 days, and will be out of action from January 18 to 24 inclusive.

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