Confusion over Dwyer India ban
The near-two month ban handed to jockey Martin Dwyer in India earlier this year seems to have been considerably increased.
Dwyer has been left reeling by news of what appears to be a significantly-enhanced suspension imposed by the Royal Western India Turf Club.
He was initially given a near two-month ban, but reports from India suggest this has been upped to eight months, though Dwyer himself believes it may be seven.
Dwyer, who won the Epsom Derby on Sir Percy in 2006, finished a narrow third on market leader Ice Age in division one of the Ice Magic Plate at Mahalaxmi racecourse in Mumbai on February 17, 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 had suffered a nosebleed.
The original ban was due to run from April 6 to May 31 this year. The new dates are reported to be August 31 to April 30 next year.
Dwyer, who said he felt he did not have a fair hearing at the initial inquiry, returned to India in April for an appeal but found the matter being referred back to the stewards for further investigation.
A further appeal hearing scheduled for June was then postponed.
Dwyer, who rode one winner from four months at Wolverhampton earlier in the day, said on Monday evening: "I've been told it has been taken up to seven months, but I have had no official notification through as it has only just happened.
"I can't really comment much further, other than saying I will definitely be appealing.
"I am a bit confused at this stage, and either way it is not good news.
"All I can do now is wait for the official notification and see what the reasons are."
Paul Struthers, chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association, tweeted: "Having spoken to Martin Dwyer, he is understandably very confused and very disappointed by the decision of the Stewards of the RWITC.
"We understand he still has a right of appeal and if that is correct he will most definitely be appealing.
"If that is correct, we understand he will be free to ride pending that appeal. We also await the written reasons for today's decision."
British Horseracing Authority spokesman Robin Mounsey said: "We have only just heard the reports emerging from India. We will await further information from the Royal Western India Turf Club before making any comment."
However in the past the BHA has made it clear that bans issued in India would be reciprocated in the UK under established international agreements.