Jim Crowley: Da Silva attacked me with what felt like a piece of lead
Jim Crowley has alleged he was the victim of an unprovoked attack from Raul da Silva “with what felt like a piece of lead” at Goodwood on Sunday, a claim vigorously denied by his fellow jockey.
Da Silva was banned for 21 days, the maximum recommended sentence for violent conduct, following an altercation in the Goodwood changing room that left Crowley requiring stitches in a cut and swollen lip.
In a statement, Crowley said: "There was a minor disagreement over a race-riding incident with a number of jockeys not happy with Raul’s riding.
"After this I was the victim of an unprovoked attack from behind with what felt like a piece of lead, and it is disappointing that I have then been accused of being the aggressor.
"This is categorically untrue and it is notable that after a lengthy inquiry that heard from many witnesses, only one of us was suspended. I have no further comment to make and will leave the matter in the hands of the BHA."
On Sunday Da Silva claimed that after the first race Crowley had been aggressive in telling him he was a "danger on the track" and that he had been trying to defend himself from the 2016 champion jockey.
Adding to the claim on Monday, the Brazilian rider said the jockeys in the weighing room had sided with Crowley, and said: "Because they're all his friends and he's the star – the champion jockey – and me, I'm no-one, which is why no-one's going to believe me, because I'm no-one."
He also insisted: "I didn't have anything in my hand when I hit him."
Da Silva, 31, and based with Paul Cole, had been due to ride Voltaic for Cole in the 6f novice stakes at Windsor last night but was replaced by Robert Havlin. The horse finished third at 33-1.
"The complicated nature of the incident, and the number of witnesses spoken to, meant that the inquiry was not concluded until after the last race, despite having occurred shortly after the first race.
"The stewards’ decision was to suspend Raul da Silva for violent conduct for 21 days based on the evidence that he struck Jim Crowley in the face, causing an injury which required medical attention.
"Twenty-one days is the maximum recommended suspension for violent conduct offences that are considered on the racecourse, according to the BHA’s Guide to Penalties and Procedures.
"However, the stewards also stated that they – or the BHA’s head office – reserve the right to revisit the incident, if appropriate.
"The BHA has the ability to reopen such cases if it is felt necessary. Before assessing whether such action is required the BHA would first review the stewards' inquiry recordings and hold conversations with any appropriate individuals. The BHA will now carry out these procedures before determining how to proceed."
Crowley's mount in the first race, the Patrick Chamings-trained Charles Molson, and Medieval, ridden by Da Silva and trained by Paul Cole, were unplaced in the race in question.
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