Article by: Richard Birch
Published in Racing Post on 26th July 2013
Jason Maguire last night expressed his relief after he escaped punishment following a 'totting-up' BHA hearing into his use of the whip.
Donald McCain's stable jockey, who trails 18-time champion Tony McCoy by 22 in the title race, met the BHA disciplinary panel yesterday after a whip 'offence' on short-lead runner-up Atlanta Falcon on Monday at Cartmel - where the run-in is half a mile long - became his fifth transgression in six months.
The potential was for that to have triggered a suspension of between 14 and 42 days, the entry point being 21. However, the panel discounted his first two hits of the ten he gave his mount, viewing them as being administered only to keep Atlanta Falcon in contention.
Maguire, who was legally represented at the inquiry by Rory Mac Neice, said: "Thankfully, the panel took into account that I gave Atlanta Falcon enough time to respond. I have had over 400 rides in six months and think I would have been looking at something just below 21 days if things hadn't gone my way."
Bill Cray, who faced the panel for the same reason, did not fare as well, receiving a 26-day ban, of which eight will be deferred. His suspension runs on August 3 and August 5 to 21 inclusive on days that Flat racing is scheduled to take place.
Cray's referral was triggered by his ride on third-placed Dr Red Eye in a Listed race at Chester this month, his fifth offence of the whip in the last six months, during which he had 63 rides.