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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 March, 2004, 09:50 GMT
Fox to fight suspension

Jockey Sean Fox insists he will appeal against his 21-day suspension after being unseated from Ice Saint at Fontwell Park on Monday.

An inquiry was held into the running and riding of the horse after Fox came off at the ninth fence in the Cantor Sport Beginners' Chase.

Having heard his evidence and that of trainer Matt Gingell, the stewards found him guilty of falling off his horse and suspended him from 19 March to 8 April.

But Fox told BBC Radio Five Live: "I am going to appeal, I am going to speak to someone this morning. I am guaranteed to appeal."

I have been tarred with the same brush as Kieren Fallon
Sean Fox
Fox's ban came on the same day that champion flat jockey Kieren Fallon was also banned for three weeks for a "non wilful" breach of racing rules.

Fox denied any accusations of wrong-doing. "I have never been offered money in my life," he said.

He also insisted that, having been sidelined for six months with a fractured left shoulder last year, it was ridiculous to suggest he would risk a similar injury by deliberately falling off.

"Falling is part of our job," he said. "When you lose your balance and gravity takes over, you are off.

"I am not going to make it look bad by rolling on my head."

After initially hearing the judgement, Fox said: "I have been tarred with the same brush as Kieren Fallon. If people think I am mad enough to jump off at about 30mph, they must be barmy.

"He was jumping grand at first, but he doesn't bend his back when he jumps. At the fence I went at, he caught his legs on it and there was no staying on.

"I ride confidently, with just my toes in the irons, so I suppose it could be said it was my fault. To me, it happened so quick and my left foot came out of the stirrup."

Gingell, who had left the course, was called on his mobile and agreed to return to the track.

He said: "These were very unfortunate circumstances. The horse was only a novice in a beginners' race.

"I have viewed the tapes and am under the impression that Sean should have stayed on the horse.

"But the horse's owner Mrs Ali Roberts, who is a criminal lawyer, is perfectly satisfied that Sean was acting in her best interests and I think we will appeal."




SEE ALSO
Fallon faces lengthy wait
09 Mar 04  |  Horse Racing
Time for action
09 Mar 04  |  Horse Racing


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