David Bridgwater fined for Ludlow remarks

David Bridgwater has been fined £2,000 by the British Horseracing Authority over comments attributed to him in the wake of a 21-day ban for young rider Jake Launchbury at Ludlow earlier this month.

David Bridgwater fined for Ludlow remarks

Launchbury, 16, was suspended after nearly taking the wrong course on Bally Sands at the final fence of a ’hands and heels’ handicap, when looking set to win. Realising his error, he corrected his path just in time.

Fellow amateur Page Fuller was given 10 days by the stewards having initially gone the same way on Petit Ecuyer before jumping the fence.

Launchbury was suspended for 21 days, as the stewards considered that if he had ridden the most direct course he would have won the race. Fuller was handed 10 days because the officials considered her actions could have materially affected her finishing position.

Bally Sands is trained by Bridgwater, who was unhappy at the length of Launchbury’s ban in particular and was quoted by the Guardian referring to the stewards’ room as having “the same idiots there that were there when I was riding 20 years ago”, adding “I think they must still have been p****d from lunch.”

The trainer later apologised for his comments and has taken the punishment, which was dished out following a disciplinary panel hearing on Thursday morning, on the chin.

He said: “The people down there couldn’t have been nicer and it’s fine.”

* Godolphin’s former racing manager Simon Crisford was out of luck with his first runner as a trainer when Knavery was well beaten in the Fujairah Container Terminal Handicap at Meydan.

Oisin Murphy soon had the Qatar Racing-owned Knavery in front in the nine-and-a-half-furlong event, but he faded quite markedly once headed with less than two furlongs to go.

The four-year-old, who has joined Crisford’s Newmarket team after leaving Roger Varian’s stable, soon faded out of contention and only beat two rivals home.

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