Scholfield hit hardest on busy night for Exeter stewards

Nick Scholfield

Nick Scholfield: left Exeter with bans totalling 11 days on Thursday

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

THE 12 riders involved in the 2m3f handicap chase at Exeter on Thursday evening found themselves in hot water with the stewards after being reported by the starter for ignoring protocol at the start.

After hearing evidence from starter Simon McNeill and inquiring into the incident, the stewards handed out bans to 11 of the 12 jockeys, as well as referring Tom O’Brien, who finished fourth on Sabroclair, to the BHA as it was his fourth such offence in the last 12 months.

Nick Scholfield, Daryl Jacob and Trevor Whelan were all handed two day bans as it was their second breach, while all the remaining jockeys involved picked up one day bans.

Having heard evidence from the riders and watched recordings of the start, the stewards found them in breach of rule (D)44.4, after they had lined up before they were asked to do so.

Explaining the stewards’ action, stipendiary steward Richard Westropp said: “The starter reported all the riders in the race for attempting to line up before the flag had been raised, which contravenes the rules.”

Nine-day whip ban for Scholfield

Scholfield had earlier been handed a nine-day ban for his use of the whip aboard the Paul Nicholls-trained Present Man, who finished a head second in the 3m handicap chase for novices.

Having heard his evidence and viewed recordings of the race, they found him in breach of schedule (B)6 part 2 in that he had used his whip above the permitted level and suspended him for the nine days starting May 5.

Hurdle mistakenly removed

On a busy night for the stewards, they also inquired into why the last hurdle in the back straight was removed prior to the 2m1f maiden hurdle on the card.

According to the stewards’ report, they interviewed the clerk of the course, who stated that his groundstaff had mistakenly thought that race four was the last hurdle race and that they had to remove the hurdle for the concluding bumper.

He added that there was no time to put the hurdle back before race five, the maiden hurdle, and therefore it had to be omitted. Having heard his evidence the stewards forwarded the matter to the BHA for further consideration.


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