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BHA suspends Swift after unexplained Lingfield absence

Jockey Dale Swift: missed his only ride at Lingfield in unexplained circumstances
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Jockey Dale Swift, who missed his only intended ride at Lingfield on Saturday in unexplained circumstances, is understood to have had his licence suspended for a month.

Swift was due to partner Mark Loughnane's Roman De Brut for his sponsor Phil Slater in the 1m4f handicap. He was replaced by apprentice Charlie Bennett and the five-year-old, who started favourite, finished third.

Loughnane was unable to shed much light on the matter. He said on Sunday: "Dale rode out for me on Wednesday and seemed fine. I was at Aintree yesterday and so wasn't involved with what happened at Lingfield. I thought he was just sick."

BHA spokesman Robin Mounsey was unable to reveal any details, and a brief statement served only to add to the mystery.

It read: "An issue regarding Dale Swift has been referred to the BHA. We're unable to comment any further at this time."

A source close to the jockey was told that Swift's licence had been suspended for a month.

Swift has ridden more than 200 winners since he was first licensed in 2002, including the 2011 Ebor on Moyenne Corniche and 2013 Group 3 Superior Mile on Top Notch Tonto, both for Brian Ellison.

However, he has had his share of ups and downs. He was a passenger in his own car when the driver was killed in a road accident in December 2014, and the following September received a six-months drugs ban having tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine.

He rode 13 winners following his return in 2016, and has made a reasonable start to 2017, with four winners on the all-weather from 43 rides.

Swift was unavailable for comment on Sunday.

I was at Aintree yesterday and so wasn't involved with what happened at Lingfield. I thought he was just sick
E.W. Terms