CROSS OUT MAGUIRE; McCain's star jockey banned from ride on Peddlers.
JASON MAGUIRE took a real caning from the stewards at Doncaster yesterday and will miss the ride on Peddlers Cross in the Champion Hurdle.
The in-form Irishman found himself in trouble at Town Moor following his ride on the Donald McCain-trained Cool Mission, runner-up to odds-on Beshabar in a driving finish to the three-mile beginners' chase.
His ban will be effective from March 9-15 inclusive. Five days of the ban was for marking the horse, with two days for using his whip with excessive frequency.
McCain's Peddlers Cross beat reigning two-mile king Binocular in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle in November, and demonstrated his well-being with a long odds-on success at Kelso last week.
Maguire, who has partnered Peddlers Cross to victory on seven occasions, an unbeaten record, said he intended to appeal.
The jockey said: "I've got to appeal. I thought I gave him a good, strong ride. But once you mark a horse there is no comeback."
Richard Johnson, rider of the Beshabar, was banned for one day for also using his whip excessively and will be sidelinedon March 9. McCain hit out at the stewards saying: "Cool Mission is a notoriously lazy horse and I thought Jason gave him a fantastic ride. In fact, I thought both he and Johnson, were brilliant."
Diamond Harry, one of the youngsters fancied to upset the old guard of Kauto, Denman and the Commander in the Gold Cup, is not sparkling at home according to trainer Nick Williams.
He had Denman back in third when winning the Hennessy and is an 8-1 chance for the Gold Cup.
Williams, who saddled two winners at Ludlow yesterday fears Diamond Harry could be at his best later in the year.
However, Williams was keen to say that "there is no danger of him not running in the Gold Cup".
MINELLA CLASS (3.35) as short as 8s for the Neptune at the Festival, will appreciate the step up in trip at Huntingdon today and should make it three wins on bounce since joining Nicky Henderson from Ireland.