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Leading jockey Willie Pike will spend almost a month on the sidelines after being outed for a shift in the Group One Kingston Town Stakes at Ascot which resulted in interference to the favourite Black Heart Bart.

Fellow rider Joe Bowditch, who was also suspended on Saturday, will be out twice as long and miss the ride on Viddora in the Magic Millions at the Gold Coast unless he can successfully appeal a ban for his handling of a horse at Morphettville in Adelaide.

Pike, who leads both the West Australian and national premierships, was suspended for allowing eventual fourth-placed Perfect Jewel to shift in on to Achernar Star who in turn tightened Black Heart Bart.

Achernar Star recovered to run third but Black Heart Bart lost his place and finished ninth.

Bowditch was outed for not using all reasonable and permissible measures to ensure Extreme Witness gained the best possible position in a 1050m-race.

Although Extreme Witness reared at the start and lost two to three lengths, stewards criticised Bowditch’s ride from the 400m to the winning post, saying he had a chance to improve.

Bowditch reserved his plea but stewards suspended him from December 16 to February 10.

The jockey was successful in last week’s Group One Winterbottom Stakes on the Lloyd Kennewell-trained Viddora who is headed teo Magic Millions day on January 13.

Pike will be sidelined until January 7 and miss the Perth Cup meeting on New Year’s Day.

 
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