Hughes in legal limbo after failing to overturn 50-day ban

Richard Hughes is leaving any possible next step to his legal team after the British Horseracing Authority published the reasons for rubberstamping the 50-day ban he was given in India.

He was suspended in February for “not following the trainer’s specific instructions and thereby not allowing his mount Jacqueline Smile to run on its merits”.

He turned to the BHA after failing to have the ban overturned in India, but was unsuccessful last week in his application not to reciprocate the suspension.

The Royal Western Indian Turf Club stewards punished Hughes for his ride at Mahalaxmi racecourse on February 16, having deemed the jockey had not ridden to the instructions of trainer H J Antia.

Hughes’s arguments, detailed in a BHA statement, concerned his denial of legal representation in the stewards’ inquiry in India, the absence of Antia from an appeal hearing, the emphasis of the stewards on the trainer’s riding instructions and the disproportionate penalty handed out.

A similar breach in this country attracts a ban of seven to 21 days, with an entry point of 10 days.

The Irish jockey will not be able to compete in Britain until April 30, when the Mumbai season has ended, and that is a major blow in his bid to be champion jockey.

“My legal team has the reasons and are looking at them,” said Hughes.

“You have to be intelligent to read them, but I do know the difference between 50 days and 10 days.

“At the moment I don’t really know what’s happening.”

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