sport

PJA blast Cosgrave ban

The Professional Jockeys Association will ask the British Horseracing Authority not to reciprocate Pat Cosgrave's Dubai suspension.

Cosgrave was hit with the lengthy suspension after he was found to have moved Anaerobio off the rail in the straight to allow fellow Mike de Kock-trainer runner Vercingetorix through on the inside to win the Group One Jebel Hatta at Meydan in March.

Anaerobio eventually finished third in the nine-furlong contest, two lengths behind the winner.

The Emirates Racing Authority found Cosgrave guilty of a blatant breach of the rule regarding improper riding which has a detrimental image to racing and handed out the suspension following an inquiry last month.

Cosgrave and the PJA swiftly lodged an appeal and while the ban has been reduced, PJA chief executive Paul Struthers is unsatisfied with the outcome.

Struthers, who was present at the appeal, said: "Despite the suspension being reduced by two months we are deeply disappointed with the decision of the Emirates Racing Authority's Appeal Board.

"This is an unfair and as yet unexplained decision and we believe the Appeal Board has seriously erred in its judgement.

"As a result we will today be lodging an application on behalf of Pat Cosgrave with the BHA requesting that they do not reciprocate the suspension.

"Whilst we are well aware that Australasian stewarding is different in style to European stewarding, and that their rules are not always the same as ours, some of the behaviour and processes that we witnessed fell far below the standards one would expect from a fair and reasonable regulator.

"The result is that we have serious misgivings about the rules and stewarding in Dubai and do not believe that jockeys can be assured of a fair hearing.

"Furthermore we are disappointed and concerned that there has already been an attempt to put pressure on the BHA in relation to this matter.

"We trust that the BHA will resist any further such attempts by the ERA."

Christopher Stewart-Moore, Cosgrave's solicitor, said: "One of the aspects we were concerned about was the fact that the appeal effectively took the form of a rehearing despite the ERA rules clearly stating the appeal should have been by way of review only.

"It is just one reason why I do not believe the ERA's processes are fit for purpose."

British Horseracing Authority media manager Robin Mounsey said: "Now that the appeal process in Dubai has reached its conclusion, Pat Cosgrave is open to make an application that his suspension is not reciprocated in Britain. Any such application would be considered by the disciplinary panel.

"In addition, Cosgrave may submit an application for a stay of his suspension until such a time as the non-reciprocation application is heard. We have put in place a mechanism to ensure that the disciplinary panel are able to consider any such application for a stay of suspension at the earliest possible opportunity."