Tsui suspended for 12 meetings
Apprentice Franky Tsui Kwan-wai has been suspended for 12 meetings for his ride on Easy Punch at Sha Tin on December 23.
Tsui, 22, was yesterday found guilty of failing to take all reasonable and permissible measures to win, or obtain the best-possible placing on Easy Punch, who beat only two of his 13 rivals to the line.
Stewards took initial evidence from Tsui and trainer Alex Wong Yu-on on race night, then adjourned the inquiry until yesterday. The verdict was reached after a further hearing of 90 minutes.
Tsui allowed Easy Punch to lose a favourable midfield position in the race, allowing two horses outside him to move in front of his horse. By the time the field hit the 800 metres corner, Easy Punch had been allowed to drift back to last place, which constituted a third particular of the charge.
In the straight, Tsui steered Easy Punch back towards the rails and rode the gelding quietly with hands only. He stopped riding for the final 12 strides and finished 63/4 lengths behind the winner Million Success. The fourth particular of the charge dealt with the apprentice's lack of vigour and endeavour.
Tsui has ridden two winners from 56 rides this season. Wong was told his evidence had been 'recorded', as distinct from 'accepted'.
The last jockey charged under this rule was Robbie Fradd, who was banned for 11 meetings for his ride on Healthy Fruits on May 10 last year (cut to six on appeal). Chris Munce was banned for nine meetings for his ride on First Knight on January 15, 2006.
In March 2005, Craig Williams received 16 meetings after being found guilty under this rule for his ride on Trust Me. Sixteen was also the figure given to Eric Saint-Martin for his handling of Double Happiness in September 2002, though that was later cut to nine.