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Bobby El-Issa has lodged an appeal against a four month suspension for his handling of a horse in a Goulburn maiden.

Soul Testa finished sixth in the 1600m-race on March 17 with Racing NSW stewards on Tuesday citing several occasions when El-Issa did not take options available to him.

They said he failed to put his mount in a position near the 600m to get clear running to the outside of Duchess Of Dubai and shortly after put Soul Testa to the inside of that horse resulting in his mount being checked and losing ground rounding the home turn.

After that incident, stewards said he did not ride Soul Testa with enough purpose and vigour resulting in his mount then having to be steadied.

They found fault with El-Issa again near the 200m, saying he had the opportunity to position Soul Testa to the outside of Polar Blast which would have given him clear running between that horse and First Courrier.

After getting a run between those two horses near the 100m, he again failed to ride with sufficient purpose and vigour to ensure Soul Testa obtained the best possible place in the field.

In assessing penalty, stewards took into account it was El-Issa’s fifth offence relating to the running and handling rules.

Stewards examined El-Issa’s mobile phone records and said they did not find any integrity issues in respect to betting on the race.

El-Issa has been granted a stay of proceedings to continue riding until the appeal is heard.

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