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Grand National jockeys hit with a caution after Aintree farce

By Martin Kelly

Tony McCoy was one of 39 jockeys given a caution yesterday by the British Horseracing Authority's disciplinary panel following the Grand National fiasco.

The champion jockey's fellow Ulster rider Brian Hughes was one of five jockeys who attended BHA headquarters at High Holburn in London for yesterday's hearing.

The 39 jockeys lined up before being called in for April's Aintree showpiece only for chaotic scenes to unfold.

There had been an abortive attempt to start the race, during which time assistant starter Simon McNeill was knocked over by several of the field as they approached the tape.

As was pointed out at the time, the situation was not helped by Battle Group, the horse that refused to line up, and yesterday he became the official scapegoat when the panel found that "the primary problems (for the jockeys) were from actions which were not theirs".

On the day, the jockeys' refusal to go back into the inquiry held by the racecourse stewards was branded a "mutiny", and it partly stole the headlines from worthy race winner Pineau De Re, victorious in the Ulster Grand National at Downpatrick last year.

Despite being found guilty, the jockeys can view being cautioned as a victory having been set to receive a one-day ban from the stewards at Aintree on Grand National day.

Jockey Aidan Coleman also attended yesterday's hearing.

"It has been slightly time wasting and that's regrettable. It's two months since the Grand National and it has taken longer than ideal," said Coleman.

Belfast Telegraph


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