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Davy Russell's ban hits hard after bizarre whip request

By Frank Brownlow

Davy Russell will be hoping to hang on to his whip when he rides the fancied Vukovar in the prestigious Tingle Creek at Sandown tomorrow - after his role in a bizarre incident yesterday.

Russell and Phillip Enright were banned for five days by the Clonmel stewards after the former appeared to ask the latter for his whip during the Powerstown Handicap Hurdle.

Russell - who won this year's Cheltenham Gold Cup on Lord Windermere - lost his whip after a blunder at the first flight on odds-on favourite Leave At Dawn.

As the runners turned into the back straight he appeared to ask Enright - riding 33-1 chance Backinyourbox - for his whip and the request was granted as television pictures seemed to show.

Stewards found both riders in breach of rule 272, bringing racing into disrepute, and both were banned for five days, ruling them out of the first three days of the Christmas festivals.

Enright was also ordered to forfeit his riding fee.

Russell said: "I'm digesting the situation. It wasn't premeditated and I'll just have to think about it because it has come as a bit of a shock.

"If you go and do someone coming to the second last the rights and wrongs are pretty clear. I don't really know about the rights and wrongs of this."

Both finished out of the places in a race won by Stay With It.

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