BHA suspends Swift after unexplained Lingfield absence
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.