Banned Fradd to miss rest of season

The Jockey Club's stewards have thrown former Hong Kong champion jockey Robbie Fradd out for the rest of the season after finding the South African guilty of failing to allow a horse to run on its merits.

On Wednesday night, the stewards surprised by adjourning an inquiry into Fradd's ride on Healthy Fruits after he finished a short-head second to Golden Stride in the Kwu Tung Handicap at Happy Valley. The hearing was reopened yesterday afternoon at the Happy Valley inquiry room, where further evidence was taken from Fradd, trainer Manfred Man Ka-leung and the owner of Healthy Fruits, Lai Kim-wai.

At the conclusion of the inquiry, Fradd (pictured) was charged and pleaded not guilty to a charge under the Hong Kong Rule of Racing 99(2) and (3).

Rule 99(2) deals with Fradd having taken all 'reasonable and permissible measures throughout that race' to ensure that Healthy Fruits was given his 'full opportunity to win or to obtain the best possible placing in the field'.

Rule 99(3) deals with the power of the stewards to penalise anyone found guilty under 99(2). The result was a suspension of 11 meetings for Fradd, meaning he will be out for the remainder of the season following his rides at today's Sha Tin fixture.

The Hong Kong champion jockey in 1999-2000, Fradd could not be contacted last night for comment on the finding or the likelihood of an appeal.

In a brief press release, signed by chief steward Jamie Stier, the particulars of the charge were that: 'Entering the home straight, [Fradd] shifted Healthy Fruits wider on the track away from a clear run which would have enabled Healthy Fruits to improve between Golden Stride and Superb where, in the opinion of the stewards, it was reasonable and permissible to do so. As a consequence of shifting Healthy Fruits away from the stated run, his mount was held up and unable to improve from shortly after entering the home straight until approaching the 200 metres, when at all times an opportunity to improve remained between Golden Stride and Superb which would have afforded Healthy Fruits clear and uninterrupted running in the straight.'

Fradd's ban ends on July 3, the day following the final race meeting of the season.