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Friday, 19 October, 2018

Marjorie Fife reeling after stable star is banned from racing for six months

Classic Seniority: winning the Ayr Bronze Cup two years ago
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Marjorie Fife was on Sunday coming to terms with her stable star Classic Seniority being banned from racing for six months after he failed to enter the stalls in the consolation Stewards' Cup at Goodwood.

The ban is a result of Classic Seniority's third misdemeanour in a year but Fife feels the six-year-old should have been given more of a chance.

"It's such a big blow for a smaller yard like ours," said the north Yorkshire trainer.

"I am disappointed as I didn't think he was given time being last to load – they didn't give him a fair chance to get the jockey off and lead him in.

"He didn't do anything really wrong or nasty. He didn't rear up and all he did was turn side on to the stalls after getting half in and bumping himself on the stalls."  

Relive the consolation Stewards' Cup at Goodwood on Saturday

Classic Seniority, who was tenth in the Stewards' Cup a year ago, had finished second to George Bowen in his defence of the Scottish Stewards' Cup at Hamilton in his previous race, and a big run was expected at Goodwood.

Fife said: "We're all gutted as we expected him to win and when you see how George Bowen ran in the Stewards' Cup [fifth, beaten just over two lengths] he had a great chance."

The swingeing ban, after which he still has to pass another stalls test, rules out hopes of Classic Seniority adding to his Ayr Bronze Cup win two years ago at the Western meeting in September.

"The plan was to go back there again. It's really sad," said Fife.

Trainer Marjorie Fife after Classic Seniority's Bronze Cup win in 2016

What made the ban more galling for Fife, who had set off at 3am to get to Goodwood, was that Classic Seniority never shows any reluctance going through the stalls at home.

"He's always lived on the edge but we turn him out all the time to get him more relaxed and he's fine at home.

"It's just on the big occasions he gets hyped up and I don't think the heat on the day helped, but he was a total gentleman leading up and going to the start, which makes it all the more disappointing."

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It is such a big blow for a smaller yard like ours
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