Sherwood and Aspell fail with appeals over Furrows

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Trainer Oliver Sherwood has had his appeal against a £3,000 fine over the running and riding of Furrows at Hereford on December 5 dismissed by the British Horseracing Authority’s disciplinary panel.

Jockey Leighton Aspell was handed a 14-day ban after the race and his appeal has also been rejected, while the horse has been suspended from running for 40 days.

Sherwood and Aspell have 48 hours to appeal the disciplinary panel’s decision and take the case to the appeal board.

The BHA Press Office tweeted: “Appeals of Oliver Sherwood and Leighton Aspell dismissed. Penalties stand. Sherwood and Aspell have 48 hours to appeal decisions.”

The local stewards felt Furrows, sent off at 20-1, appeared to be tenderly handled when finishing fourth on his debut over fences behind Vulcanite in the novices’ chase, beaten 12 lengths.

They found Sherwood guilty of schooling/conditioning the horse on the racecourse.

In his defence, the Upper Lambourn handler told the Hereford officials the horse had a history of leg problems, was an average jumper at home, and had suffered a nasty fall at Sandown earlier in his career.

The disciplinary panel found Aspell made no discernable effort to obtain the best possible placing or be seen to be doing so and it was a confidence booster.

Sherwood fully supported the ride and was therefore found in breach as well.

An angry Sherwood refused to comment when contacted, while an understandably disappointed Aspell said: “I’ve got nothing to say really.”

Both the Investec Derby and John Smith’s Grand National are set to stay in their familiar time slots in 2013 despite Channel 4 assuming control of television coverage.

BBC television lost the rights to Channel 4, who have chosen a new production team from IMG Sports Media, with 88 days of live racing action set to be screened next year.

Channel 4’s programmers announced a handful of new features for their shows in 2013, including the intention to run Saturday’s major race at 3.50pm as often as possible, at a presentation in London on Wednesday.

However, there are exceptions to the rule with the Derby being run at 4pm this year and the Grand National at 4.15pm.

Little change is expected on those timings in the near future, but both Epsom and Channel 4 are open to discussion on the off-time.

n Jockeys riding fees will rise by 2.8 per cent on January 1 following an agreement between the Racehorse Owners’ Association and Professional Jockeys’ Association.

The fee on the Flat will be £115.52 (up from £112.37 in 2012) and £157.72 (from £153.42) over jumps.

“We are glad to have come to a fair and reasonable agreement with the PJA that riding fees will increase by 2.8 per cent in 2013,” said ROA chief executive Richard Wayman.

“The ROA Council recognised the difficult financial situation faced by many jockeys, particularly given the continuing high motoring and fuel costs which make up a significant proportion of their expenses.”

Professional Jockeys’ Association chief executive Paul Struthers said: “We are pleased to have worked with the ROA and agreed a riding fee increase that is slightly above general wage inflation.”

Silvestre De Sousa was banned for seven days for using his whip above the permitted level in the Claiming Stakes at Kempton when going down by a short head on Ishigunnaeatit.

De Sousa will miss December 27-31 and January 1 and 2.