Delpech scores partial victory in appeal

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 November, 2007, 12:00am

Jockey Anthony Delpech had only a lukewarm victory yesterday in the fight to clear his name over the riding of Spare A Dime at Sha Tin in September, with the Jockey Club appeals panel reducing his penalty effectively to seven meetings.

They dismissed Delpech's appeal against an 11-meeting suspension under Rule 99 for failing to take all reasonable and permissible measures to win on Spare A Dime when he was second to Rocket Power on September 26 and, technically, the jockey's penalty under Rule 99 was then reduced by two meetings.

However, in what is almost certainly a first, Delpech's two-day careless-riding ban was considered by the panel and regarded as time served as the stewards had previously ordered it be served concurrently with the longer penalty.

This means that Delpech now has seven of the original 11 meetings still to serve over Rule 99.

He will ride today before commencing the ban, which will allow him to return to riding on November 29 and in time to partner Vengeance Of Rain at the Cathay Pacific International meeting.

However, for the first time in almost three years, trainer David Ferraris will be forced to find a new rider for the Dubai Sheema Classic hero when he resumes racing in a fortnight. The result is, in practical effect, close to the revised penalty Robbie Fradd received under the same rule last season when his 11-meeting ban was reduced to six, but he did not have the complication of a careless-riding ban to be considered.

Delpech could not be contacted after the lengthy hearing, which took most of yesterday to complete.