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Horse Racing: Trigger for 'totting-up' ban upped to 24 days.

Byline: Jon Lees

THE Horseracing Regulatory Authority yesterday announced it was increasing the threshold at which jockeys will be subject to further disciplinary action under its 'totting-up' procedure in a move that reflects the expansion of the fixture list, writes Jon Lees.

From tomorrow, the trigger for further punishment will be an accumulation of 24 days of bans, up from 20, for offences involving interference and misuse of the whip in a 12-month period. The increase is the first since 2003.

HRA director of regulation Malcolm Wallace said yesterday: "There has been a 16 per cent increase in the volume of racing in the last five years, and we thought it only fair that the limits should be raised in line with this increase.

"Additionally, when a jockey is referred under the 'totting-up' procedure, instead of automatically receiving a minimum 14-day suspension, the disciplinary panel will also take into account the volume of rides during the previous 12 months.

"I was convinced this was right when I saw that Seb Sanders had ridden in 22 races in 24 hours, which is unprecedented."

The Jockeys' Association had pressed for the rise in the threshold, as riders had become more vulnerable to lengthy bans due to increases in the racing calendar.

Ann Saunders, company secretary for the JAGB, said: "The volume of racing has increased significantly during the last five years and we welcome the HRA's decision to raise the 'totting-up' threshold now, rather than waiting until the end of the season."

There was also progress on the JAGB's attempt to secure a group sponsorship arrangement with a betting or gaming company for its members, with agreement that a proposal would be presented to the HRA board next month.

HRA spokesman Paul Struthers said: "We'll be working closely with the JAGB over the next few weeks to finalise the necessary revisions to the rules and establish exactly how the scheme will be centrally managed by the JAGB, as it's vital that the integrity of the sport is not impacted by any deal. We are confident it won't be."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 7, 2007
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