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Martin Dwyer - Jockey

Martin Dwyer: "I've just got to hope it all works out in India"

  PICTURE: Racing Post  

'Confused' Dwyer places faith in appeal system

MARTIN DWYER said on Saturday that he needed "to have faith" in the appeal system in India after a date was set for a new appeal into his beefed-up eight-month riding suspension.

A hearing has been scheduled for September 7 with Dwyer being able to ride until then. Indian officials had handed him a suspension from August 31 to April 30, 2014 inclusive.

Dwyer learned on Monday that officials at the Royal Western Indian Turf Club (RWITC) had elected to boost the 56-day ban they had given him for his ride aboard favourite Ice Age at Mahalaxmi racecourse in Mumbai in February after the rider had appealed against the original sanction.

Ice Age, the 6-4 favourite, raced erratically before narrowly being beaten prompting an on-course riot leading to the filly being declared a non-runner. The stewards' ire was firmly directed at Dwyer, who they felt had not allowed his mount to run on her merits.

In their report on Dwyer's latest appeal, RWITC officials state they believe the rider took actions to prevent his mount from being balanced throughout the race. They also disregarded evidence that Ice Age bled after the race. No reasons have been revealed for the increase to the ban.

Dwyer, a winner of both the Derby and Oaks, has received the backing of the Professional Jockeys Association in his fight to have the ban overturned and said on Saturday that he was struggling to comprehend what had happened.

"I don't really understand my case so I'm struggling to get my head around it," Dwyer told Channel 4 Racing. "From what I understand from my representative there was no new evidence at the last inquiry although I'm still waiting for the minutes of that.

"People [in Britain] have watched the replay and everybody seems to be on my side. They can see that I haven't done anything wrong, first and foremost. I don't know how it has ended up this way.

"As to where I go from now, I've got to try and have confidence in the next procedure process, which is the appeal, which has been set for September 7. It's a new appeal and I'm free to ride until then. I have to have faith in the appeal board."

He added: "I've had many good years in India, I've got some great friends there, I've been lucky to win some big races and I've never had a day's suspension up to now. I've just got to hope it all works out."

Dwyer added that he felt some sympathy for the crowd at the racecourse but made it clear that they did not have the benefit of all the evidence.

He said: "The punters love their racing in Bombay [Mumbai] and there are massive crowds. I can understand, to a point, from a punter's view from the stands with the side-on view they are watching and they can see me pulling the horse off the horses on the inside so to them it looks like ‘what's going on here?' but they weren't given the benefit of watching the head-on replay."

Officials at the RWITC have made it clear that they expect any ban and punishment to be reciprocated by the BHA, who said on Friday that they could announce no decision on the case until the appeal system had been exhausted in India.

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