Dwyer planning to appeal Indian ban

Friday 22 March 2013, 8:59am

British jockey Martin Dwyer will appeal a two-month suspension handed down by the Royal Western India Turf Club for not letting a horse run on its merits at Mumbai last month.

Dwyer's finished a narrow third on market leader Ice Age, prompting an angry response from racegoers.

A head-on video of the race showed Ice Age appearing to drift towards the rail in the closing stages, bumping the eventual runner-up and causing Dwyer to snatch up his mount.

The RWITC stewards called an inquiry and announced the horse was to be deemed a non-starter, with all bets refunded.

At the time, Dwyer suggested his mount was not moving correctly and suffered a nose bleed. He had expected to be cleared at the inquiry.

If Dwyer fails in his appeal against the ban which runs from April 6 to May 31, he will miss the ride on the William Muir-trained Purr Along in the 1000 Guineas.

"I'm still in a state of shock to be honest. I'm a bit numb," Dwyer said.

"I'm very disappointed with the decision and I'm still trying to get my head around it.

"The vets report confirmed that the horse broke a blood vessel and I dismounted as soon as we passed the post. I even had blood on me in the inquiry on the day.

"This was all confirmed today, but they decided that I didn't let the horse run on its merits."

Champion jockey Richard Hughes was banned for 50 days by the Indian stewards last year, a suspension which was upheld by the British Horseracing Authority.

Paul Struthers, chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association, says the organisation will back Dwyer in his appeal.

"He is entirely innocent of the charges levelled against him - one only needs to view the head-on replay of the race to know that - and will fight to clear his name," Struthers said.

– PAA

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