Maguire out of the Festival as ban upheld

Jason Maguire
Jason Maguire
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Jockey Jason Maguire has lost an appeal against the 14-day ban he picked up at Ludlow last week which rules him out of the Cheltenham Festival.

It will be the second year in succession Maguire has missed the Festival after being seriously injured on the Monday before the meeting last year.

The Grand National-winning rider finished seventh aboard the Ben Pauling-trained Born To Succeed in the Onny Maiden Hurdle, which was won by 20-1 shot King Alfonso.

Maguire’s ride was beaten 24 lengths, but the local stewards found him guilty of “schooling/conditioning the horse on the racecourse”.

The jockey is due to be sidelined between March 4-17 but Maguire did have his deposit returned. As for Pauling, his original £3,000 fine also remains and Born To Succeed is banned form running for 40 days.

The British Horseracing Authority’s disciplinary panel heard evidence from both Pauling and Maguire and viewed video evidence.

Following the enquiry the BHA released the following reasoning:

“The Panel noted that Born To Succeed was dropped out towards the rear of the field for the first three flights, whilst pulling hard, before making gradual progress in the back straight.

After jumping the sixth hurdle the gelding was asked for a response and improved its position to be in contention, with the eventual winner only two lengths or so ahead.

“Shortly before crossing the road for the last time, the leading group began to quicken away, and Maguire administered one other reminder. The Panel did not accept Maguire’s evidence that the horse was too tired to be asked for any further effort.

“Off the final bend and in the home straight over the last three hurdles, Maguire failed to be seen to ask Born To Succeed for a real and substantial effort to achieve the best possible placing.

“He failed to be seen to take all other reasonable and possible measures to ensure his mount was given a full opportunity to obtain the best possible placing.”

The Panel noted that Pauling confirmed that Maguire had ridden in accordance with his instructions but found the pair were guilty of schooling the gelding on the racecourse.

Politologue, ridden by jockey Sam Twiston-Davies during the Doom Bar Maghull Novices' Chase in April. PIC: David Davies/PA Wire

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