Callan has Hong Kong licence suspended for being disrespectful towards stewards
Irish jockey Neil Callan has had his licence to ride in Hong Kong suspended until the end of the season with immediate effect.
Callan, 42, was called to see the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s licensing committee on Wednesday morning to “consider the status” of his licence after being disrespectful during a stewards’ inquiry at Happy Valley on February 3.
He was found guilty of careless riding during the February inquiry, suspended for three meetings and fined HK$20,000 for his ride on Chater Pins.
His licence has been suspended until the conclusion of the Hong Kong season on July 14, and Jockey Club executive director of racing Andrew Harding confirmed to the South China Morning Post that Callan is unable to ride anywhere else until that date.
The licensing committee cited Hong Kong Jockey Club rule 14(2) which states: “a licence may be withdrawn or suspended by the stewards of the Jockey Club if they shall determine that the licence holder’s conduct, whether or not the conduct associated with racing, renders him unsuitable to continue to hold the licence issued to him”.
Callan had been booked for five rides at Happy Valley on Thursday. He has the right to appeal to the stewards of the Jockey Club against the decision of the licensing committee.
His suspension comes days after he partnered Mighty Giant to win the Group 2 Chairman’s Trophy at Sha Tin on Monday, his 21st winner of the season from 339 rides. He has ridden in Hong Kong for a decade, winning 276 races.
Before riding in Hong Kong, Callan had made his name in Britain through fruitful partnerships with the likes of Kevin Ryan, Michael Jarvis, Karl Burke and Roger Varian. His best domestic tally of 170 winners came in 2007 and he broke the 100 barrier in Britain eight times between 2004 and 2013.
He has won five Group 1s in Britain, including the Nunthorpe Stakes with Borderlescott in 2009 for Robin Bastiman.
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