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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Justice wins out in the end as Currie wins appeal

Lingfield: stewards suspended Nicola Currie for ten days following the running of the 2m handicap on September 26
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It may have come in a roundabout manner but there is no doubt the correct decision was made with Nicola Currie successfully appealing against what appeared a harsh ten-day suspension.

Yet it was achieved as much because the disciplinary panel were left in the dark about a key period of the race as because of the merits of her argument.

For approximately nine seconds the video record had nothing to show the panel, with the cameras focused on the front four as the leaders entered the home straight. This proved to Currie's advantage and the BHA's undoing.

It was an outcome that suited most parties. Currie had her ban quashed and the panel avoided an unenviable choice between upholding the original decision, which had been widely criticised as draconian, and making plain its dissatisfaction with the raceday stewards' original decision.

Nonetheless, it was the right decision. Currie is a relatively inexperienced rider, who prior to this evening's meeting at Chelmsford had ridden on only 114 occasions during a five-year career.

To put that figure into context, apprentice title leader David Egan has ridden in nearly 450 races this year, while Hollie Doyle, who also started her career five years ago, has the benefit of experience from more than 740 mounts. Currie, like all apprentices, is not the finished article, although she is talented nonetheless.

The way the race panned out also did Currie no favours. On a horse described by the rider as "very tricky", she followed her instructions throughout.

It was to her and the horse's detriment that they got stuck behind retreating runners at the four-furlong marker, causing Currie to sit and suffer as the front four went for home. In a crucial moment in the race, luck was not on her side.

The missing footage only strengthened the case for her appeal, but Currie spoke assuredly throughout and rightfully secured the result she was looking for.

If you were interested in this, you might like . . .

Currie successfully appeals against controversial ten-day suspension

Richard Hughes accuses stewards of 'abuse of power'

Letters: Currie did little wrong at Lingfield


The way the race developed therefore significantly impacted the BHA, with the cameras focused on the heat of the action
E.W. Terms
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