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Thornton and McNeil have suspensions reduced on appeal

The Victorian Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on Tuesday allowed appeals against the severity of suspensions of jockey's Stephanie Thornton and Jye McNeil, but dismissed McNeil's appeal against the decision of his suspension.

Stephanie Thornton

Heard By: Judge Bowman (Chair) 

Appearances: Corie Waller appeared on behalf of the Racihg Victoria stewards. Glenn Thornton appeared on behalf of Ms Thornton. 

At Moonee Valley on Friday 21 December 2018, apprentice jockey Stephanie Thornton pleaded guilty to a charge of improper riding under AR 137(a). The charge relating to her ride on Belwazi in Race 5 the Ladbrokes 55 Second Challenge Heat 9 (955m). 

The particulars of the charge being that: from shortly after the start and for a considerable distance thereafter, Ms Thornton turned her mounts head in and has ridden on an onwards course thereby placing undue pressure on I'm Too Hot, taking that gelding in despite the efforts of rider Stephen Baster resulting in I'm Too Hot being in restricted racing room for some distance. 

Ms Thornton had her permit to ride in races suspended for a period of 25 meetings commencing midnight Saturday 29 December 2018 and expiring midnight Tuesday 22 January 2019. In assessing penalty Stewards took into account her guilty plea, forthright evidence, that she is an apprentice and the serious nature of the charge. A Notice of Appeal against the severity of the penalty imposed was lodged on 24 December 2018. 

A stay of proceedings was not requested. 

DECISION: Appeal against severity of penalty allowed. 

Penalty varied to a period of suspension for 20 race meetings (expiring midnight Thursday, 17 January 2019). 

Jye NcNeil

Heard By: Judge Bowman (Chair) 

Appearances: Corie Waller appeared on behalf of the stewards. Matt Hyland of the VJA appeared on behalf of Mr McNeil. 

At Echuca on Monday 31 December 2018, jockey Jye McNeil was found guilty of a charge of careless riding under AR 137(a). The charge relating to his ride on Johnny Handsome in Race 2 the Bourke Builders Maiden Plate (1000m). 

The particulars of the charge being that: near the 300m Mr McNeil permitted his mount to shift out when not sufficiently clear of Persue, hampering that mare and taking it out off its course resulting in Nurse Finch which was racing to the outside of Persue having to be restrained to avoid heels. The runners to Nurse Finchs outside, Greetings Ned and Bright Steel, were also hampered in this incident. 

Mr McNeil had his licence to ride in races suspended for a period to commence at midnight on 10 January 2019 and to expire at the conclusion of the day meeting at Geelong on 17 January 2019, a period of 7 meetings, (2 metropolitan, 5 provincial), to be served cumulatively with his suspension commencing 2 January 2019. 

In assessing penalty Stewards took into account Mr McNeil's record, that the carelessness was in the low range and made concessions so as that the total term of suspension was not manifestly excessive. A Notice of Appeal against the decision and severity of the penalty was lodged on 2 January 2019. 

A stay of proceedings was not requested. 

DECISION: Appeal against decision dismissed. Appeal against severity of penalty allowed. 

Penalty varied to a period of suspension for 5 race meetings, to expire midnight Tuesday, 15 January 2019. 
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