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A veteran jockey has been suspended for four months on a handling charge out of a race meeting in country Queensland.

Stanley Watkin has received one of the heaviest penalties handed down in Queensland on the charge which is separate from the more serious running and handling charge.

Watkin has ridden several hundred winners in country areas and mainly rides in central Queensland.

He rode Hacksaw Ridge into sixth place at TAB-standard meeting at Emerald on April 11.

Stewards opened an inquiry and after taking initial evidence from Watkin and trainer Todd Austin, it was adjourned for further investigations.

At the resumed hearing, Watkin was issued with a charge under the rule which states a rider must take all reasonable and permissible measures to ensure a horse is given full opportunity to win or to obtain the best possible place.

Stewards alleged that between the 800m and 300m Watkin failed to improve his position when it was reasonably permissible to do so.

It was further alleged after entering the home straight Watkin failed to show sufficient vigour to improve his position.

Watkin pleaded not guilty but after hearing submissions stewards found Watkin’s riding fell below the requisite standard expected of a jockey of his experience.

Watkin had his licence suspended for four months with the ban to end on September 14.

He can lodge an internal review application against the decision.

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