British Champions Day: Andrea Atzeni to miss out because of two-day suspension

Sport & Transfer News

Atzeni is currently sixth in the 2018 championship
Qipco British Champions Day
Venue: Ascot Racecourse Date: Saturday 20 October Coverage: Commentaries on BBC Radio 5 live Race times: 13:25-16:30 BST (Champion Stakes 15:50)

Italian jockey Andrea Atzeni will miss Saturday’s British Champions Day at Ascot because of a two-day ban imposed in France earlier this month.

The 27-year-old was initially told he could move one day of the ban, which is usually allowed for suspensions of four days or less in Britain.

But French authorities told the British Horseracing Authority that under their conditions this could not be permitted.

Atzeni was due to have ridden in three of the six Champions Day races.

The Italian remains suspended from riding on 20 and 21 October for a riding offence at Longchamp on 6 October.

The French system allows riders to request to not serve one day of suspension per year but Atzeni had already used this concession in 2018.


BBC horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght

Technically speaking it is the jockey’s responsibility to ensure he is permitted to ride on a particular day, but let’s be honest – this is another piece of sloppiness by the BHA, which was effectively asked for guidance by Andrea Atzeni and gave him duff information.

This incident piles more pressure on the BHA, which is busy reducing the historic powers of ‘amateur’ or ‘lay’ officials but regularly looking amateur itself.

The other day the incorrect horse was withdrawn from a race at Nottingham, while not so long ago the wrong horse ran, and won, a race at Yarmouth, all because of errors by BHA officials.

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