Friday 15 December 2017

Cheltenham 2015: Thornton has huge weight lifted off him as his ban is reduced

A muddy Andrew Thornton
A muddy Andrew Thornton

Andrew Thornton is free to ride at Cheltenham next week after having a six-day ban reduced to three days following an appeal.

The rider, who is closing in on a landmark 1,000 career winners, was suspended after weighing in 2lb heavy than weighing out on third-placed Saucysioux in a bumper at Plumpton on February 23.

Having heard evidence from the British Horseracing Authority and Thornton, the disciplinary panel noted that it was was the rider’s responsibility to make himself aware of the fact that his weight going out was 151.5lb - 0.5lb overweight with the risk of being overweight coming back with conditions riding heavy.

In light of that fact, the panel ruled the local stewards had acted correctly in not exercising discretion available to them under the rules, in what was Thornton’s second offence of a similar nature in the last 12 months.

However, the panel considered the facts were different to the previous case and accepted that Thornton had returned to the scales covered in mud.

As a result, the panel quashed the six-day suspension, instead ruling three days was appropriate, meaning Thornton will sit out March 9, 14 and 15.

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