The ball was tossed right back into the respective courts of jockey Eric Saint-Martin and the Jockey Club's licensing committee yesterday as the brilliant Frenchman's appeal against a two-month ban was thrown out and his career in Hong Kong sits in the balance. Appeals were heard and dismissed yesterday over bans handed out to Saint-Martin (16 days) and local rider Paul Lo Pak-hin (eight days) over improper riding charges from the same incident at Sha Tin on December 28. The pair engaged in a pushing match in the back straight after Lo's mount Storm's Destiny interfered with Saint-Martin on Chater De Lago and Saint-Martin (pictured) responded by pushing Lo away with his arm. Lo then replied in kind, attempting to push back against Saint-Martin with his hand. The two riders ended up on the wrong end of the rules in the stewards' room, the fourth ban for Saint-Martin for similar offences bringing him double the penalty dealt out to Lo - and neither received any reduction at yesterday's hearing. An angry Saint-Martin said immediately after the original ban that he would quit Hong Kong over the penalty, which is due to commence after racing today at Sha Tin, and the licensing committee's warning to him last year over his disciplinary record is also hovering. He was warned that he would face a show cause hearing over his licence for any serious transgression of the rules - and improper riding would come under that heading. The revised period of the ban now takes Saint-Martin out of riding until March 8 and there is a licensing committee meeting set down for February 24, but, if Saint-Martin stays with his original declaration and quits, there will be no need for a show cause inquiry. Lo's ban was also revised yesterday to commence tonight after racing and he will return to the track on February 9.