Leading American jockey Mike Smith was handed a nine-day whip suspension and a huge fine for his ride on runner-up Midnight Bisou in the inaugural Saudi Cup.
The Steve Asmussen-trained mare was beaten three-quarters of a length by fellow US raider Maximum Security in Saturday’s $20million feature in Riyadh, with Midnight Bisou earning her connections $3.5million for finishing second.
Smith was proud of Midnight Bisou in defeat, saying in the immediate aftermath: “She ran so well, and I am so proud of her. She ran awesome.
“I did everything – but we didn’t come first, but she won, do you know what I am saying? Amazing weekend.”
Smith would have been due 10 per cent of of the prize-money earned. However, the stewards later imposed an eight-day suspension for using his whip above the permitted level and forced him to forfeit 60 per cent of his earnings in the world’s most valuable race – a fine amounting to $210,000.
The Hall of Fame rider was suspended for a further day for using his whip without giving his mount time to respond, having earlier picked up a two-day ban for failing to weigh in after the fifth race.
The 54-year-old had enjoyed much better fortune at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack on Friday – when he was crowned champion in the inaugural international jockeys’ challenge, clinching the prize by winning two of the four races on Sun Hat and Paris.