National riders suspended

One For Arthur

Grand National-winning jockey Derek Fox was one of 26 riders suspended for one day following an inquiry into the start of the Aintree showpiece on April 8.

A disciplinary panel of the British Horseracing Authority found the jockeys in breach of the rules in that they attempted to line-up and/or take up a position for the start of the Randox Health-sponsored chase before being signalled to do so by the starter.

Fox is banned on May 16 with Sam Waley-Cohen, Jamie Codd and Sean Bowen stood down on May 15.

The remainder, who include Ruby Walsh, Daryl Jacob, Noel Fehily and Bryan Cooper, cannot ride on May 13.

However, the panel directed that, as this was a stand-alone offence and that as the circumstances on the day were unusual, the day would not be set against any of the jockeys' records.

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The BHA's stance in the matter was welcomed by the Professional Jockeys Association.

The PJA's chief executive Paul Struthers said: "Whilst we were disappointed the 26 jockeys were charged, we are pleased that we were subsequently able to have constructive discussions with the BHA ahead of the hearing and we credit the BHA for this approach.

"The 26 riders on both sides of the Irish Sea also deserve credit for rising above their feelings of disappointment and allowing the PJA to enter into those conversations on their behalf.

"The outcome is one that reflects some of the mitigating circumstances but equally importantly was an outcome that, having been charged and following such a successful and positive Randox Health Grand National meeting, we agreed best served racing.

"Jump starts inevitably require a great deal of co-operation and trust between jockeys and starters and the new starting procedures have been an understated success since their introduction.

"The focus inevitably falls on those relatively few high-profile occasions when there are false or unsatisfactory starts.

"This focus is perhaps unfair, but there remains a common theme on many of those occasions and I am sure that jockeys and the BHA can continue to work constructively together to address it."

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