Champion jockey Oisin Murphy is weighing up whether or not to appeal against the seven-day suspension he picked up at Ayr on Monday, which rules him out of the Pertemps St Leger Festival at Doncaster.
Murphy was successful aboard odds-on shot Tiritomba, but was found guilty of careless riding as he was judged by the stewards to have “allowed his mount to drift left for a considerable time without sufficient correction causing (Paul) Mulrennan (rider of Ricksen) to take a significant check and clip heels”.
Murphy is currently well clear of nearest pursuer Tom Marquand is this year’s race for the jockeys’ championship
Asked about the possibility of an appeal, he said: “I haven’t spoken to the PJA (Professional Jockeys Association) yet, to be honest.
“I had an appeal that I didn’t win the other day from a ban at Wolverhampton, which wasn’t what I hoped for.
“It’s a little bit stressful, because I hope everyone is aware I don’t want to cause interference – particularly in a novice race in a small field at Ayr.”
Murphy has already sought out some trainers’ opinions about the circumstances of Monday’s incident.
He said: “I’ve shown the clip to a few trainers to have a look, and the general consensus is I haven’t taken my hands off the reins and I haven’t directed my horse to shift left. I don’t ride with wing mirrors to know there is a horse within reach of mine.
“If you argue I should have pulled my stick through to the left – well to do that, I would have had to loosen my hold on the right rein.
“There’s a photo taken after we’ve pulled up. My horse was wearing a snaffle, which has split in half, and half of the bit has come through the horse’s mouth on the right-hand side.
“It will be interesting to see the way other people view it, because that will have a bearing on whether I appeal or not – as well as my own view.
“If the BHA believe it was worthy of a seven-day suspension and that it is fair then they are entitled to that opinion – I’m riding within their rules, at least I try to. I think I’ve got three or four days to decide whether to appeal.”
He added: “I went about 18 months without a suspension anywhere in the world – and now I’ve been hit with a big one. Such is life. I think it’s sensible to take a bit of time to think about it.”