Jockey in controversial Hillsin case banned from riding and racecourses | Horse racing

Dylan Kitts, whose controversial ride on Hillsin at Worcester on Wednesday led to the horse being banned from racing for 40 days, will not ride or attend a racecourse in the immediate future while the British Horseracing Authority continues to investigate the circumstances and betting patterns surrounding the incident.

Hillsin, a five-year-old gelding owned by Alan Clegg and making his first start for trainer Chris Honour, attracted plenty of support from 10-1 down to as low as 2-1 on Wednesday morning for the final event on the Worcester card, a two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle for conditional riders.

He then proved to be friendless in the market before the race, eventually drifting out to start at 11-1, but seemed to be going best of all as the field turned for home. Kitts, however, appeared to make little effort to encourage his mount forward and Hillsin seemed to have plenty of running left as he crossed the line in third place, just a length and a quarter behind the winner, Bensini.

The stewards referred Kitts’s ride to the BHA and banned Hillsin from running for 40 days, while Honour has subsequently revealed that he has received death threats following the controversial performance and that Clegg’s horses have left the yard at his request. Hillsin is now understood to be in the care of Brian Barr.

The jockey has already been given a 14-day “non-trier” ban for a ride at Warwick in May when he finished runner-up on the Warren Greatrex-trained Jet Of Dreams in a maiden hurdle.

Kitts was due to ride O’Faolains Lad for Richenda Ford in the 5.00pm at Newton Abbot on Friday afternoon but has been taken off all booked rides after the BHA said in a statement earlier in the day that “it has been agreed that Dylan Kitts will not take rides or attend any racecourses at this time, as an investigation following a referral by the Stewards at Worcester on Wednesday 5 July continues”.

Kitts also rode Hillsin on his two previous starts before Wednesday’s race, when he was trained by Claire Harris, and Honour told the Nick Luck Daily Podcast on Thursday that Kitts was booked at Clegg’s insistence.

“I wanted Bryan [Carver] on and I want Bryan on all my horses,” Honour said. “I spoke to the agents and said I want Bryan on this horse and the owners have said they want Dylan.

“I don’t know Dylan, I had never met him or spoken to him until yesterday [Wednesday] when giving him the instructions to go out and drop him in, take your time and keep hold of his head.

“From there I can’t ride the race for him. I feel sorry for the lad, he’s done as I have asked, but he’s done it to an extreme that isn’t enough.

“People are saying we have stopped it, but that’s not me, I haven’t stopped it and it is against my ethos of how we run and train our horses. We have punched above our weight and hopefully we will get to the bottom of it with the investigation with the BHA.”

Paddington can steam home in Eclipse

Just four runners are due to go to post for the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park on Saturday but three are Group One winners already and the race will certainly live up to its billing as the first major battle between the generations.

There are distinct similarities too with the 2021 renewal, when Aidan O’Brien saddled the three-year-old, St Mark’s Basilica, to beat two proven Group One winners from previous seasons. The obvious difference is that Paddington, O’Brien’s runner on Saturday, will be stepping up to 10 furlongs for the first time, while St Mark’s Basilica had proven himself at the trip by winning the French Derby.

There are no such concerns about Emily Upjohn, Paddington’s main market rival, as she was touched off in last year’s Oaks and won the Coronation Cup, over the same 12-furlong trip, last month.

Paddington (3.40), though, offers reminders not just of St Mark’s Basilica, but of so many outstanding colts that have emerged from Ballydoyle over the last quarter-century and progressed from race to race to run up long winning streaks at Group One level.

His emphatic success in the St James’s Palace Stakes was another big step forward from his win in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, achieved in a time that backs up the visual impression, and his breeding – by Siyouni out of a Montjeu mare – suggests that he could be even better at a mile and a quarter.

Paddington winning the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last month. Photograph: James Marsh/Shutterstock

Sandown 1.50 Annaf was a 50-1 shot for the Group One King’s Stand Stakes last time but outran his odds to finish third and Mick Appleby’s consistent sprinter remains relatively unexposed at the minimum trip.

Haydock 2.05 The half-length winning margin bore little relation to Lordship’s dominance at Yarmouth last time and an 8lb hike in the weights looks very fair.

Sandown 2.25 The improving Sceptic has a tricky wide draw but came from a fair way off the pace at Goodwood last time and has a better chance of following up than a price of around 7-1 suggests.

Haydock 2.40 The loss of both front shoes is a reasonable excuse for Aristia’s subpar seasonal debut and she is a big runner on her previous Group One-winning form in France.

Sandown 3.00 A step up in class for Back See Daa but she was a ready winner at Newbury last time and may have been overlooked in the market at around 8-1.

Quick Guide

Greg Wood’s Saturday tips


Haydock 1.30 Talha 2.05 Lordship (nap) 2.40 Aristia 3.15 Toshizou (nb) 3.50 Mayo Neighs 4.25 Ramazan 5.00 Nails Murphy 

Sandown 1.50 Annaf 2.25 Sceptic 3.00 Back See Daa 3.40 Paddington  4.15 Paradias 4.50 New Business 5.25 Orchestra 

Beverley 2.15 Expert Choice 2.50 Lady Pink Rose 3.25 Bella Kopella 4.02 Young And Fun 4.37 Crown Princess 5.12 Ribkana 

Leicester 2.55 The Good Biscuit 3.30 Ribble Rouser 4.07 Golden Maverick 4.42 Shot Of Love 5.17 Nuthatch 5.50 Blue Collar Lad 

Carlisle 5.45 Giselles Izzy 6.22 Close Connection 6.52 Sixcor  7.22 Let Life Happen 7.52 Dornoch Castle 8.22 Kalahari Prince 8.52 Josiebond 

Nottingham 6.12 Just Hiss 6.42 Pipers Fort 7.12 Batchelor Boy 7.42 Jo’s Rainbow 8.12 Warren Hill 8.42 Beggarman 

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Haydock 3.15 A typically competitive renewal of the Old Newton Cup, with Toshizou possibly the pick of the prices on his first try at a mile and a half having stayed on steadily over 10 furlongs in a well-run race at Epsom last time out. His hold-up running style will give him every chance of getting home and a strong pace looks guaranteed.