JIM CROWLEY says his ‘punishment doesn’t fit the crime’ after being hit with a 20-day ban.
The former champion jockey was also fined £10,000 for breaking whip rules on his way to victory in the King George in Hukum.
Crowley went three strokes over the limit of six when beating Westover in Ascot’s big race.
The usual punishment for that breach would be a 10-day ban – but the penalty is doubled in a Class 1 or 2 race.
Speaking on ITV before his ban was officially announced, Crowley said: “The rules are the rules and we accept that but I don’t think my punishment is going to fit the crime and it will be tough to swallow.
“It was a mistake we went over but neither of us went out there with a win at all costs mentality.
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“Some riders were consulted about the rules before they were enforced but I can guarantee there’s not a single jockey in the weighing room who agrees with the rules.”
It means Crowley will miss the big-race ride on Mostahdaf in the Juddmonte International at the Ebor Festival later this month.
His ban starts on 15 August and he will not be able to return to race-riding until September 5.
Rob Hornby, the rider of the runner-up, was banned for four days for going one stroke over the limit.
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In a statement, the BHA said: “The use of the whip in the King George was not reflective of the riding we have generally seen in major races since the introduction of the new rules.
“For example, the Cheltenham, Aintree, Epsom and Royal Ascot meetings have all taken place this year without a single rider using the whip above the permitted level on a winning ride.
“Specific thresholds for whip use is now standard policy amongst most major racing nations, including all of our nearest neighbours.
“On Saturday the whip was used three times above the permitted level on the winner, for which there is very little justification. It is to deter whip use like this that strict penalties are in place, especially in major races.
“They are designed not only to safeguard the perception of the sport, but also maintain fairness in close finishes, encouraging riders to stay within the rules, in the interest of the betting public and fellow riders.”
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