A six-week suspension threatens to derail Brisbane jockey Damian Browne’s autumn carnival and his association with Group One sprinter Buffering.
Browne was outed at the end of a stewards inquiry on Tuesday at which he was found guilty of a handling charge on Kingtantes at Eagle Farm last week.
The jockey is expected to appeal the ban which is scheduled to begin after Saturday’s racing and end on April 20.
He will be able to ride Fire Up Fifi in the Wiggle Stakes at Warwick Farm on Saturday but needs to win an appeal to ride her Robert Heathcote-trained stablemate Buffering who opens his Sydney campaign on March 15 on his way to the $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes on April 12.
Stewards opened the inquiry after Browne finished third on the Heathcote-trained Kingtantes, about seven lengths behind the winner Primal Flight, in a maiden.
Stewards charged Browne with failing to take an available run between two horses at the 300m and failing to show the vigour expected between the 300m and 200m.
There was no suggestion Kingtantes would have won the race but stewards felt the horse could have finished second.
He argued he had ridden to instructions to get cover and he had given Kingtantes every chance.
Browne has won four Group One races this season – three on Buffering and last month’s Blue Diamond Stakes on Earthquake.
He has had several run-ins with stewards and was suspended for a month after riding Buffering to win the Winterbottom Stakes in Perth in November.
Browne then missed the Magic Millions carnival after being suspended on his first day back riding on Boxing Day.