Horse Racing

Soumillon banned for two months after Ryan slipped

Christophe Soumillon has been banned for two months after an unusual and controversial incident in which he elbowed compatriot Rossa Ryan from the saddle during a race at Saint-Cloud.

Soumillon, who later apologized for his actions, was riding in a Francis Graffard-trained car Syros in the Prix Thomas Bryon (G3) when, in the straight back, his elbows make contact with Ryan, who is riding the car coached by Ralph Beckett Captain Wierzba.

The contact resulted in Ryan being unable to leave his mount. Ryan went uninjured, while Soumillon was banned for 60 days.

However, the jockey will be able to ride Vadeni at the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) on Sunday when the suspension begins on October 14 and ends on December 12.

Soumillon said: “It was a terrible thing that happened. I was racing as always and we both wanted to be in the same position. I think I just calmed Rossa so I could stay behind Ryan (Moore). ) Unfortunately, the soft ground he became unbalanced and bounced off.

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“That was the first surprise because I wondered what had happened. When I looked at the pictures again, I could clearly see what had happened – that I had elbowed him, which is a pity. I should never do that.

“I made a mistake and I’m very sad for the owner and my coach as well as for his, because it cost them both.

“I was assured he was fine and when I saw he was uninjured I went and apologized immediately. It was the best news of the day. It’s something no one wants to see in their sport. we.

“I fully understand the reaction of those questioning what happened and feel it’s completely unacceptable, so I have to bear the consequences.”

‘Manipulating that control was a mistake’

Soumillon will miss the big meetings including British Championship Day, Breeders’ Cup and Japan Cup (G1), while the chance to win Cravache d’or — the championship of the flat racers of France — it’s over. He is 21 winners behind Maxime Guyon.

Soumillon insisted the incident was not intentional.

“I had to serve a two-month suspension, which is certainly a heavy punishment but justified nonetheless,” he added. “I had to accept everything and I was at fault. I should never have used my elbow to try to keep my position.”

“That maneuver was a mistake and I regret it. I apologize to everyone, especially the connection of those two horses and anyone who was shocked by what they saw.

“Now, I have to put my full focus on the most important weekend of the year. I have to sort things out before I sit down on Monday or Tuesday and really reflect on everything, but this weekend. I must be in a state of anxiety. and do my best.”

Ryan told the Racing Post: “I just had a crash and lost my balance. It was just one of those things that happened. I’m disappointed that Ralph and his team got him out here, but we’re sorry. I will continue.

“The horse is fine, I’m fine. That’s the main thing. I’m 100%.”

Syros, who finished second after the post, was disqualified.

Amo Racing, who doesn’t own Captain Wierzba but Ryan has ridden 97 times this year, criticized France Galop’s decision not to ban Soumillon with immediate effect, a move that would exclude him from the Arc meeting this weekend.

In a tweet, they said: “Shameful, appalling with what happened in France today. If a jockey is allowed to do it and not banned immediately then we all are. Ban a guy in October and November, you might as well pay for his Christmas break.”

Beckett, who coached Captain Wierzba, declined to comment on the incident.

Former equestrian Andrew Thornton, who works for Sky Sports Racing in Hexham, was very critical of Soumillon’s actions.

He said: “When you go down at speed and land on your feet, that’s when you go and break your leg. It’s like jumping out of a car at 35mph.”

Group 3 won by trained Aidan O’Brien Continue who was demoted 20-1 (from 33) for the following year’s Derby (G1) by Coral following his success.

Soumillon’s recklessness follows a similar incident in Ecuador recently, where jockey Joffre Mora was banned for life. after pushing another rider in the Ecuadorian Derby.


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