Darragh Keenan banned for ‘serious misjudgement’ on race favourite

Apprentice jockey Darragh Keenan failed to ask a race favourite for its effort in time, a British Horseracing Authority disciplinary panel ruled.

The 20-year-old's mount Rohaan finished second at Lingfield, beaten by a length-and-three-quarters at the line.

After the 6f handicap on January 2, racecourse stewards at the course suspended Keenan for 14 days for a "serious misjudgement" in the saddle.

Panel members, deciding the case over Zoom on Thursday, found he had asked for Rohaan's effort too late, but reduced the ban to ten days.

Finding Keenan in breach of racing's Rule (F) 37, chairman William Morris QC said: "We recognise the fact the horse may not have responded as you would have expected might in part have been due to slight lameness, which is some mitigation, but you nevertheless left it too late to ask for substantial effort.

"When you did ask, the horse did pick up."

The hearing was shown the race in question a number of times from different angles.

The winner, the Mark Johnston-trained Bravado, made all the running on the all-weather surface.

Rohaan, sent off the 11-8 favourite to record a four-timer in just over a month, was brought around the outside of his rivals, but was unable to challenge the leader.

Keenan said he was told to ride the three-year-old "with confidence" by trainer David Evans, like he had done in his past two wins on December 9 and 22.

He said the gelding was travelling "very sweetly," but when he asked him to pick up, he did not do so in the same way.

"We are starting to get a run on down the hill now and I'm starting to like move my hands, encourage him the same way I always do," he said, providing a voiceover of the race.

"Ride him the same way, keep him occupied, get the bit high in his mouth, squeezing him with my heels. I'm getting ridden wide here, I could challenge no other place. Getting him going, getting him going…"

Keenan suggested the race had perhaps came too soon, plus he was found to be slightly lame on its left fore and right hind by the vet.

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