Punters explode in fury over 'ridiculous' ride that lands jockey 21-day ban after coming second to Dettori at Lingfield

PUNTERS exploded in fury over a 'ridiculous' ride that landed the guilty jockey a 21-day ban.

Rab Havlin has been suspended for three weeks after finishing second to Frankie Dettori at Lingfield on Wednesday.

Havlin was aboard 16-1 shot Stowell in the 1m4f contest at the Surrey track.

Approaching the final stages of the race, he looked well beaten as Dettori surged clear on 2-9 favourite Polling Day.

But rounding the bend for the home straight, Havlin could be seen appearing to hold his horse back.

Meeting a bit of traffic into the final couple of furlongs, Havlin had to manoeuvre his mount past rivals while Dettori went ahead on Stowell's stablemate.

But as Polling Day, who holds an entry in the Epsom Classic, tired towards the post, Stowell, who was making his debut, kept travelling strongly.

Dettori was all out on his horse as the line approached while Havlin looked to be coasting on the rapidly approaching Stowell.

Polling Day eventually held on for the win, with Stowell – who had drifted from 8-1 to 16-1 before the off – passing him in the next few strides after the finish.

Punters were absolutely floored by what happened because they thought Stowell should easily have won the race.

One claimed: "Absolutely shocking. He should have won doing handstands."

Another commented: "Utterly ridiculous. Hate seeing stuff like this."

A fellow punter wrote: "If you backed the second horse you'll be disgusted. So casual and so little effort."

One stated simply: "Rotten."

Another punter posted: "Wow that’s a disgrace. He was absolutely cruising!"

The stewards' report on the 4.35pm initially said 'nothing to report' – but this is always the case until an enquiry has been completed.

When the probe was finished, a report on the BHA website read: "Havlin was suspended for failing to take all reasonable and permissible measures to ensure Stowell obtained his best possible placing, in that after getting a clear run in the straight, the colt had not been asked for a sufficient effort.

"Taking into account how well Stowell ran on up the straight despite being tenderly ridden, and the diminishing distance that the colt was beaten, Havlin was suspended for 21 days."

Respected ITV Racing and Sky Sports Racing pundit Jason Weaver was another shocked at what he saw.

He described Havlin's ride as 'very, very kid gloves'.

Weaver said: "Stowell has absolutely picked up under kid gloves all the way down the straight.

"He was checked in behind runners, it then opens up for him down on the inside and if he gets out at that point, he definitely goes and wins.

"We still haven't see Rab [Havlin] get into that familiar drive of his. He doesn't quite get there in the closing stages.

"That was very, very kid gloves on the second all the way up to the line.

"Just looking at the jockey's body language, there wasn't much urgency there, was there? Stowell, the absolute eyecatcher there."


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