Derby dream over for Gina Mangan
Gina Mangan, the apprentice who was set to partner rank outsider Diore Lia in Saturday's Investec Derby, has been prevented from riding in the Epsom feature by the British Horseracing Authority.
The 7lb claimer had been booked to ride the 1,000-1 chance, who is trained by her boss John Jenkins, in the premier Classic as owner Richard Aylward was keen to generate publicity for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital by running his homebred filly.
However, after initially stating Mangan was free to take the ride, the BHA has now decided her participation would not be "in the best interests of the sport".
Jamie Stier, the BHA's chief regulatory officer, explained: "The BHA has been in contact with Mr Jenkins, the trainer of Diore Lia, and the owner's representative, regarding Gina Mangan's participation in the Investec Epsom Derby.
"Following these discussions, the connections were this afternoon informed the BHA has decided under Rule (F)83 that it would be in the best interests of the sport not to accept the declaration of Gina Mangan as the rider of Diore Lia should she be put forward for the ride in the Investec Derby.
"Everyone involved in horseracing has a responsibility to place the welfare of our participants, both equine and human, first. It is in this context that the decision has been made.
"While risk can never be removed entirely, it is possible to identify factors that can increase risk, and act on them. While Miss Mangan has held her licence for a number of years she remains inexperienced, with only 69 rides and one winner to her name.
"She has never ridden at Epsom and certainly never ridden in a race on the scale and stage of the Derby, with all the unique challenges it presents.
"While there are currently no race conditions regarding rider or horse qualification for the Derby, or any other Flat Pattern race in Britain, whether there should be is something that we have already started considering prior to the events of the last seven days, and the specific matter of Miss Mangan's booking has been under consideration since it became known that she would be booked.
"Conditions on qualification exist in the Grand National and we will continue to consider this matter as regards other races, in the interests of protecting the safety and public perception of our participants and most high profile races.
"We fully understand that this will be extremely disappointing for Miss Mangan, however we believe that the decision is the correct one in the best interests of all concerned and the sport.
"Should the BHA have not acted and an incident have occurred, then the disappointment of one rider could have been placed in stark contrast with the potential consequences."
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