Noel Fehily: 12-day ban for taking the wrong course at UttoxeterPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Fehily and Ahern hit with costly bans
NOEL Fehily has been ruled out of the the final day of the jumps season after he was hit with a 12-day ban for taking the wrong course on Hassadin in the 3m handicap hurdle at Uttoxeter on Saturday.
The suspension starts on Saturday, April 27, ruling him out of bet365 Gold Cup Day at Sandown, although it could have been far worse, as he will be free to ride Rock On Ruby in Punchestown's Rabobank Champion Hurdle the previous day.
The incident occurred down the far side of the track, where Fehily went the wrong side of a set of rails. The jockey said: "It was one of those things, I took the wrong course. Normally we go to the left of those rails today for some reason we went to the right. I still don't quite know why they were there."
Clerk of the course Charlie Moore admitted to being "gutted" that his course layout caused a rider to be suspended. He added: "The rail was there to prevent the horses going on some bad ground on the inside. There was a 'H' marker which meant the riders had to go to the right. It was on the plan of the course in the weighing room."
For the later races cones were placed across the inside of the course at right angles to the rail with Moore eager to prevent a similar incident.
At Kempton Eddie Ahern was ruled out of Newmarket's Guineas meeting after the stewards found him guilty of using his whip above the permitted level on Desert Recluse, a narrow winner of the Queens's Prize.
Saturday's ban rules Ahern out for seven days staring May 4 but, as he has picked up a further seven days of suspensions at Lingfield on Friday, he will be out of action from April 26 - May 10 in total.
Further suspensions were handed out at Tramore, where nine riders were hit with two-day bans following two false starts to the 2m6f handicap chase.
No action was taken after the first false start but nine riders were called in to see the stewards after the second and all of John Lalor, David Splaine, Philip Enright, Colman Sweeney, Mark Enright, Sean McDermott, Ian McCarthy, Liz Lalor and Adrian Heskin received two-day bans after being found guilty of disobeyed the orders of starter Derek Cullen.