Leading jockey Philip Armson ruled out of Cheltenham Festival by whip ban – The Guardian

Philip Armson, one of the season’s leading conditional jockeys with 24 winners, has been ruled out of next month’s Cheltenham Festival by a whip ban following the latest meeting of the British Horseracing Authority’s new Whip Review Committee.
Armson, who is attached to the David Pipe stable, was banned for 14 days from 14 March, the opening day of the Festival, after he was found to have used his whip 10 times, three more than the limit, when riding Gwencily Berbas to a two-and-a-half-length success in the Devon National at Exeter on Friday. He was also fined £650 and ordered to spend a day of his suspension at the British Racing School for training.
Three more riders – James Turner, Alice Proctor and William Shanahan – also picked up bans of between seven and 20 days which will begin on 14 March, while five – including the leading jockeys Sam Twiston-Davies and Tom Cannon – received four-day bans which can be deferred until 18 March.
Turner was found to have been five times over the limit when riding Mavis Pike, a four-year-old filly, into second place in a bumper at Newcastle on Saturday. He was banned for 20 days and Mavis Pike was disqualified, under a new rule which allows a horse to be disqualified if a rider is four or more strokes over the limit.
Three more riders, as yet unnamed, could also receive bans later this week which would rule them out of the final day of the Festival on 17 March.
Two have been given 48 hours to provide further information after the committee identified a potential additional offence which had not been spotted by the stewards on the day, while the panel also identified a possible breach by a third rider which had not been picked up or referred by the raceday officials.
Elsewhere, Constitution Hill, the long odds-on favourite for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, gave his galloping companions several lengths’ start but still accelerated past them with ease on the Polytrack at Kempton Park on Tuesday morning, confirming that he will be at peak form and fitness for the feature event on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival next month.
Newcastle 1.25 Secretary 2.00 Buxted Too 2.35 Saint George 3.10 Zealot 3.45 Walking On Clouds 4.20 Abnaa (nap) 4.50 Pink Parfait 
Taunton 1.40 Broomfields Cave 2.15 Matterhorn 2.50 Lady Kk 3.25 The Bold Thady 4.00 Wick Green 4.35 Act Of Authority
Ludlow 1.15 Light In The Sky 1.50 Penny Mallow 2.25 Flying Nun 3.00 Quoi De Neuf 3.35 Born At Midnight 4.10 By Pass 4.45 Pencil 
Chelmsford 5.15 Goldkit 5.50 Give A Little Back 6.25 Thomas Equinas 7.00 Shades Of Summer 7.30 Pride Of America 8.00 Persian Wolf (nb) 8.30 Outrace
Constitution Hill was one of nine horses from Nicky Henderson’s stable which travelled down from Lambourn to exercise on Tuesday, including Epatante, the 2020 Champion Hurdle winner, and Marie’s Rock, who has entries in both the Mares’ Hurdle and Stayers’ Hurdle.
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A plan for both horses crystallised in Henderson’s mind as he watched them work, and Marie’s Rock may now step up to three miles in the Stayers’ on 16 March while Epatante, who has already been soundly beaten by Constitution Hill twice this season, switches from the Champion to the Mares’ Hurdle the same afternoon.
“We will talk about the Stayers’ for Marie’s Rock,” Henderson said. “Nico was very pleased with her, and Aidan [Coleman] was very pleased with Epatante. Constitution Hill looks to be in good shape, so if Epatante went to the Mares’, I could see a very good reason for Marie’s Rock moving up to three.
Lingfield 1.15 Foinix 1.50 Deed Pole 2.25 Fly The Nest 3.00 Crimson Sand 3.35 Moush 4.10 Chagall 4.40 Carzola 
Doncaster 1.25 Circus Act 2.00 Twoshotsoftequila 2.35 Emma Lamb 3.10 Stylish Moment 3.45 Ilovethenightlife 4.20 Twotwothree 4.50 Ailes D’Amour
Newbury 1.40 Ahead Of The Field 2.15 Twig 2.50 Under Control 3.25 Herbiers 4.00 Halifax 4.30 Calgary Tiger 5.05 Porter In The Park
Newcastle 5.15 Bobby Shaftoe 5.45 Win Win Power (nb) 6.15 Drakeholes 6.45 Yesterday’s Hero 7.15 After John (nap) 7.45 Thornaby Beauty 8.15 Gunnerside 
“It does realistically give all three of them a shot of winning a race and that looks like a common-sense plan.”


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