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Benoit de la Sayette could return next month

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Benoit de la Sayette could return to action next month after been given a six-month ban, backdated to April, for testing positive for cocaine.

The 7lb-claimer grabbed the headlines earlier in the spring when he partnered Haqeeqy to victory for John and Thady Gosden in the Lincoln at Doncaster.

However, a video was subsequently circulated on social media claiming to show De la Sayette at a party in the presence of cocaine following his Doncaster victory, prompting the British Horseracing Authority to take urine and hair samples from De la Sayette on March 31.

The urine sample returned negative on the same day the test was administered, but the hair sample had returned positive for metabolites of cocaine, with an interim suspension placed on the rider on April 17, with De la Sayette admitting he had previously used the drug, although insisting the video was from October 2019.

At a disciplinary hearing on Thursday, Ciara McElvogue, representing the BHA, said the rider had admitted taking cocaine “around three or four times” between August 2020 and January 2021, after falling in with a “bad crowd” while living in Newmarket.

De la Sayette was represented by Rory Mac Neice, who said the rider takes “full responsibility for the position he now finds himself in” and explained De la Sayette came into contact with cocaine through people he lived with, when he “succumbed to temptation”, before ceasing his use of the drug when moving back in with his parents in February this year.

“Mr De la Sayette has made a mistake and he entirely understands and embraces that, he won’t be the first teenager to have done so and he possibly won’t be the last,” said Mac Neice.

“He is very young, to his credit he had recognised prior to the positive test the need to make changes to his living arrangements and he had taken the counsel and advice of his parents and Mr (John) Gosden and he had made changes.

 

“He recognised the complete incompatibility of allowing himself to succumb to temptation with his ambition to become a professional jockey.

“His entire focus now and throughout the late spring and summer of this year has been to work hard at Mr Gosden’s yard to ensure that should he be given a second chance as a rider, he is able to pay back those who have helped him through this period.

“Mr De la Sayette apologises without reservation and all ultimately he can say is that he has learned the hard lessons of this episode in his life and he has learned those lessons well.”

McElvogue told the panel there was “no suggestion or evidence” that De la Sayette ever rode in a race under the influence of cocaine, but presented the evidence of a toxicologist who studied the hair sample as indicating “the likely use of cocaine in the period of January to March”.

She stressed the time period involved was estimated and did not say it amounted to a finding of continuing use through that period, but Tim Charlton QC, chairing the panel, felt the evidence was a cause for concern.

In handing down a six-month suspension, he told De la Sayette he had “misgivings about the fullness of the explanation you have given in the light of the expert evidence we have”.

He added: “Even though that expert evidence may not be something that we treat as gospel, it’s not written in stone, this panel is nevertheless concerned about the fact that you have on the face of it been using cocaine after you had returned home.

“That’s a possibility that the expert evidence opens and therefore being at home does not seem on that expert evidence to have cured the problem you had with the use of cocaine. That’s a matter you will need to confront, perhaps, when you come before the licensing committee.”

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Free Daily Race Pass (Result)

LINGFIELD PARK 15:23

Thursday 28 October
5. MAAMORA (IRE) 1st
James Doyle silk James Doyle
Simon & Ed Crisford
8. ROMAN MIST (IRE) 2nd
Tom Marquand silk Tom Marquand
Tom Ward
2. DECLARED INTEREST 3rd
Rob Hornby silk Rob Hornby
Ralph Beckett
Go to full race

LATEST HORSE RACING RESULTS

15:30 CLONMEL

1st D. J. McInerney silk 7. FIRST TOUCH (IRE) 3/14f
2nd Sean Flanagan silk 5. CIAO BELLA (FR) 15/28.5
3rd Davy Russell silk 2. SASSY YET CLASSY (IRE) 4/15
9 ran. NRs: 6  9 
QUICK RESULT

15:23 LINGFIELD PARK

1st James Doyle silk 5. MAAMORA (IRE) 2/13f
2nd Tom Marquand silk 2 8. ROMAN MIST (IRE) 25/126
3rd Rob Hornby silk ¾ 2. DECLARED INTEREST 9/25.5
J: James Doyle  
All 12 ran.
FULL RESULT

15:15 STRATFORD-ON-AVON

1st Tabitha Worsley silk 11. STEEL WAVE (IRE) 6/17
2nd Sean Quinlan silk 7. ZUCKERBERG (GER) 7/24.5
3rd Tom O'Brien silk 10. BRETNEY (IRE) 3/14f
J: Tabitha Worsley (5)  
T: Gary Hanmer  
10 ran. NRs: 5  6 
QUICK RESULT

15:05 FFOS LAS

1st Richie McLernon silk 4. IRON BRIDGE (IRE) 9/25.5
2nd Gavin Sheehan silk 1. BILL BAXTER (IRE) 7/42.75
3rd Richard Patrick silk 3. GRIS GRIS TOP (FR) 20/121
8 ran. NRs: 2  7 
FULL RESULT

14:55 CLONMEL

1st Mr R. James silk 5. LUCKY MAX (GER) 11/26.5
2nd Mr K. Callaghan silk nk 16. I SEA THE MOON (IRE) 4/15jf
3rd Mr E. P. O'Brien silk 10. LAKE CHAD (IRE) 80/181
J: Mr R. James (7)  
15 ran. NRs: 12  18  3  6 
FULL RESULT

14:48 LINGFIELD PARK

1st William Buick silk 2. MODERN NEWS 1/31.33f
2nd Trevor Whelan silk 1. DOCUMENTING 5/16
All 4 ran.
FULL RESULT

14:40 STRATFORD-ON-AVON

1st Bryony Frost silk 1. ONEMOREFORTHEROAD 9/43.25
2nd Tom Cannon silk ½ 8. CALL OF THE WILD (IRE) 10/111.9f
3rd Lorcan Murtagh silk 12 3. MILLBANK FLYER (IRE) 6/17
J: Bryony Frost  
T: Neil King  
13 ran. NRs: 4 
FULL RESULT

14:30 FFOS LAS

1st Richie McLernon silk 7. MONBEG GENIUS (IRE) 6/17
2nd Jordan Nailor silk nk 5. JAZZ KING (FR) 3/14jf
3rd Harry Cobden silk 36 2. AMENON (FR) 3/14jf
All 10 ran.
FULL RESULT

14:20 CLONMEL

1st I. J. Power silk 8. MONISHTER ARE MWEE (IRE) 33/134
2nd Rachael Blackmore silk 2 3. GUILY BILLY (FR) 1/31.33f
3rd A. M. McCurtin silk 5 7. SEAFORTH MANCY (IRE) 4/15
J: I. J. Power  
8 ran. NRs: 4 
FULL RESULT
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