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Attempting to find a Simple answer to St Leger issue

By Nick Robinson

Published 23/09/2015

Victoria Pendleton
Victoria Pendleton

The disciplinary panel of the British Horseracing Authority will today hear the appeal by connections of Simple Verse against the decision to demote the filly from first place in the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster.

Trained by Ralph Beckett for Qatar Racing, the Andrea Atzeni-ridden three-year-old passed the post a head in front of the Aidan O'Brien-trained Bondi Beach, but a stewards' inquiry was immediately called as the pair appeared to bump twice in the closing stages.

Following a tense wait, during which Atzeni and Bondi Beach's rider Colm O'Donoghue argued their respective cases in front of the stewards live on Channel 4, the announcement was made that Simple Verse had been placed second.

Meanwhile, double Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton "learnt a lot" after finishing well down the field on her second competitive start as an amateur rider at Beverley yesterday.

Victoria Pendleton's got Cheltenham Festival fever  

Despite being a total novice, Pendleton announced in March she was training to become a jockey, with the aim of competing in the Foxhunter Chase at next year's Cheltenham Festival.

Pendleton made her racecourse debut in a charity event at Newbury in early July, finishing down the field aboard Mighty Mambo, before almost making a fairytale first start as a fully-fledged amateur when beaten just a head aboard Royal Etiquette at Ripon last month.

The 34-year-old was reunited with the Lawney Hill-trained gelding in the concluding Betfair Supports Amateur Riders Handicap at Beverley.

Royal Etiquette eventually passed the post 13th of 16, top honours going to Jan De Heem.

Pendleton said: "I've learnt a lot from that one. I gave it my best shot, but these things happen, it was a great learning curve

"I can't imagine a life without horses now."

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