The owners of Orthodox Lad have spoken out in favour of jockey Kieren Fox, who was suspended for 15 days at Salisbury on Monday.
Fox is understood to have hit the horse eleven times, when winning the Bathwick Tyres Salisbury Handicap by a short head. Under the highly controversial new whip rules that were only introduced on the day(Monday), a jockey is only allowed use the whip a maximum of seven times during an entire race. The maximum amount of times the rider can hit his mount inside the last furlong is five(Fox used whip seven times).
Steve Nunn, spokesman for Orthodox Lad’s owners, SN Racing II, defended the jockey on ATR saying:
“We love our horses and don’t want to hurt them in any way. Kieren gets on well with the horse and we know he is an out and out galloper, he doesn’t have many gears and needs a bit of help.
“I spoke to the guys after the race and they said he (Orthodox Lad) was bouncing after the race.
I’m completely happy with how it was handled. I feel for Kieren. Kieren is not an aggressive rider. He would accept he would get banned, but this is too harsh.
“What it comes to is that there is a chance that the horse might not have won yesterday and that affects little men like me.
I thought it was a great ride. That horse now has one win under our belt. From a breeding point of view, that makes a big difference to us.