Pat Cosgrave’s racing ban reduced to four months but still unpopular with jockeys’ body

Emirates Racing Authority's initial six-month ban came for ‘improper riding’ but the Professional Jockeys Association still thinks the punishment is too severe and calls the decision 'unfair and unexplained', writes Geoffrey Riddle.
Jockey Pat Cosgrave was handed a six-month ban but he appealed and the ERA reduced the punishment to four months on Monday. Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters
Jockey Pat Cosgrave was handed a six-month ban but he appealed and the ERA reduced the punishment to four months on Monday. Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters

LONDON // The Emirates Racing Authority on Monday reduced the worldwide suspension of the rider Pat Cosgrave from six months to four, but the chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) in England believes the punishment remains too ­severe.

Cosgrave was handed the ban for “improper riding” after he came off the rail aboard Anaerobio in the Jebel Hatta on Super Saturday, March 8, a move that allowed stablemate Vercingetorix, also trained by Mike De Kock, an easy passage en route to a two-length victory in the Group 1 event at Meydan Racecourse.

Cosgrave appealed last week and Monday the ERA reduced his ban by two months. It now will end on July 16.

The Northern Irish rider also must forfeit his Dh1,500 deposit, bear the costs of the appeal panel members and split the costs with the regulatory body for th­­­­e transcribers at the hearing.

Paul Struthers, the PJA chief, said it is not clear from where the ERA rules on “improper riding” derive.

“Nobody else has ever been done for this before in Dubai and, as far as I am aware, no jockeys have ever been briefed there on this subject,” Struthers told The National.

“This is an unfair and, as yet, unexplained decision and we believe the appeal board has seriously erred in its judgment.”

The PJA released a statement in which it outlined “serious misgivings” about the rules and stewarding of the ERA, and that it could not be assured that jockeys would receive a fair hearing because of processes that were not fit for the purpose.

When contacted by The National regarding these matters, the ERA responded via email: “The Emirates Racing Authority declines to comment on the statements made by the Professional Jockeys Association.”

Cosgrave’s suspension is a global one, but the PJA intend to pursue the matter by lodging an application with the British Horseracing Authority to request they do not reciprocate the ban.

The PJA suggested that penalties for “improper riding” are not as heavy in other racing jurisdictions.

Last year, jockey Martin Dwyer was handed a 56-day suspension in India after the crowd at Mahalaxmi Racecourse in Mumbai rioted when his mount was narrowly beaten in a race as the favourite.

Dwyer’s ban was increased to eight months on initial appeal, but reverted to 56 days on a second appeal.

Dwyer took the ban to the BHA, who subsequently declined to reciprocate.

Follow our sports coverage on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE

Published: May 5, 2014 04:00 AM


Editor's Picks
Sign up to:

* Please select one