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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Johnson soothes the pain after McNally hit with 14-day ban for improper riding

Richard Johnson: let bygones be bygones
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It was a case of letting bygones be bygones for Richard Johnson on Thursday, when he partnered a winner for a trainer who just 24 hours earlier had received a 14-day ban for appearing to try to prevent the champion jockey from winning at Perth.

Johnson steered 11-10 favourite The Trigger to success in a 2m6½f handicap chase for Ronan McNally at Stratford – his first runner at the course – despite the pair having been fierce rivals in the saddle the day before, when McNally, who also rides as a 7lb claiming amateur, and Johnson fought out a finish at Perth.

Riding See Double You, McNally appeared to allow his mount to drift markedly right towards the Johnson-ridden Swingbridge between the final two hurdles, with the two horses bumping.

The stewards found McNally to be the culprit and deemed he was guilty of improper riding in that he intentionally rode across the course to cause interference to Swingbridge, carrying him right and causing Johnson to take evasive action.

After the incident Swingbridge, who was 7-4 favourite, soon gained the upper hand and went on to beat McNally's horse by ten lengths.

In June, Johnson and McNally had been quizzed by Market Rasen stewards when the champion replaced Jonathan England on The Trigger, who had been well backed for a 2m4½f handicap hurdle before finishing fourth.

5.10 Perth result

The stewards ruled he was guilty of improper riding in that he intentionally rode across the course to cause interference to Swingbridge
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