Veteran Queensland jockey Shane Scriven has been handed a career-threatening five-month ban for stealing an apprentice’s whip during a race at Ipswich last week.
Throughout his 30-year career, Scriven has had well publicised battles with weight and he told Thursday’s inquiry in Brisbane he might not be able to come back after a lengthy suspension.
But stewards determined the bizarre incident warranted the penalty which, subject to Scriven being granted a stay of proceedings pending an appeal, begins after Monday’s racing.
Earlier in the race, Scriven had his own whip accidentally knocked from his hand and as he approached the winning post, he reached over and grabbed apprentice Ben Looker’s whip.
Scriven’s mount Requested was beaten a nose by Seeyou with Toronto Dancer, ridden by Looker, a half-head away third.
After the post, Scriven handed the whip back to Looker who did not report the incident and stewards took no action on the day.
After considering a six-month ban, stewards reduced it by a month due to Scriven’s remorse and the difficulties he has with his weight.
Looker was given a two-week suspension for failing to report the incident.
In a further twist, Requested was disqualified from his second placing and Looker’s mount Toronto Dancer promoted to second.
Stewards said they regarded the safety aspects of the incident as paramount and the penalties needed to represent a deterrent.
They said the video showed Looker initially resisted Scriven’s attempt to take his whip and in those circumstances the dangerousness of Scriven continuing to attempt to snatch the whip could not be underestimated.
Scriven won the 2008-09 Brisbane premiership despite being unable to ride under 55 kilograms and has ridden many Group One winners including Scenic Shot who he will be reunited with at Eagle Farm on Saturday.