Ward given fine for using racial stereotype on ATR
Middleham trainer Jason Ward was fined by the BHA yesterday for his use of a racial stereotype in a TV interview he gave after saddling a winner at Wolverhampton this month.
Ward was fined £1,200 by a BHA disciplinary panel who found he had brought the sport into disrepute by referencing an "offensive and inappropriate racial connotation" in a comment that was broadcast on At The Races after Monte Cinq's success in a maiden.
The BHA asserted that Ward's comments led to adverse publicity, including in its reporting on social media, by the BBC and the Racing Post. The trainer later issued an apology.
Yesterday Ward's barrister Roderick Moore said the trainer had been "momentarily unguarded and showed a serious lack of judgement". He accepted that his remarks were "lewd and unprofessional" and there was no intention to cause offence.
A statement on Ward's behalf said: “Jason is pleased that the fine is well below the entry point of £2,000, and also below the level of fines handed down in other recent high-profile cases of breach of this rule.
"While the [disciplinary] panel will doubtless choose their words carefully, we infer that the reality is that they accepted Jason’s case that this unfortunate utterance was the consequence of a momentary lapse of judgement, that he quickly apologised to all and sundry afterwards, that it was not racist in either a legal or any meaningful sense and that it was unlikely to have caused offence to anyone with a sense of humour. ”
Failed drug test results in six-month ban for Clark
Ryan Clark, the jockey who rode Mrs Danvers to her first two victories, was suspended for six months yesterday after testing positive for cocaine.
The jockey has not ridden since the end of September when his licence was suspended after he gave a urine sample at a Lingfield race meeting that tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine.
Yesterday a BHA disciplinary panel was told that Clark had been on a night out with friends on September 17 and because he did not drink often had become drunk very quickly. He could not remember taking cocaine but as a result of the test friends later confirmed he had taken the drug.
Clark has ridden three winners this year, two of them on the Jonathan Portman-trained juvenile filly Mrs Danvers, who went on to complete an unbeaten season with wins in the Weatherbys Super Sprint, Listed St Hugh's Stakes and Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes.
Clark's solicitor Rory Mac Neice said the rider took full responsibility for his mistake and was determined to get his career back on track. He was also prepared to make himself available for interim drug testing during his suspension if required.
Clark was banned until March 29 next year with the panel applying the sentence from the day he was stood down on September 30.