Jockey Robbie Dunne banned for 15 days for role in plot to hide weighing out light for race at Chepstow in 2017
- Robbie Dunne will ride Carole’s Destrier in Saturday’s Scottish National at Ayr
- The jockey has been banned for 15 days for part in plot to hide incorrect weight
- He weighted out light for race he won on Rocknrollrambo at Chepstow in 2017
- With collusion of the valet, he was given half pound lead weight in order to race
Jockey Robbie Dunne, who rides Carole’s Destrier Saturday’s Scottish National at Ayr, has been banned for 15 days for his part in a plot to hide the fact he had unwittingly weighed out light for a race at Chepstow in 2017.
Dunne won the race on Ian Williams-trained favourite Rocknrollrambo but stable employee Barry Pearson, who no longer works for the trainer and received a one-month racecourse exclusion order for his part in the conspiracy, realised after the rider had weighed out that a saddle error meant the jockey was half a pound light.
With the collusion of a valet, Dunne was given a half pound lead weight which he put down his breeches. The action was witnessed and reported by a member of the public but initially denied by Dunne and Pearson, who told the panel he had panicked.
Robbie Dunne has been banned for his part in hiding that he weighted out light at a 2017 race
Trainer Lucinda Russell will walk the Ayr track on Friday morning before giving Big River the go-ahead to run in the Coral Scottish Grand National.
Big River, who finished fourth in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on his latest run, is 8-1 joint favourite with Alan King-trained Dingo Dollar for the four-mile marathon.
However, despite the track watering, there is concern the sunny weather in the west of Scotland might turn the ground too quick for Derek Fox’s mount.
Peter Scudamore, assistant to Russell, said: ‘We will walk the track on Saturday. We want to check the ground is safe. It is a very good forecast. They are watering but we don’t want the ground to dry out too much. We definitely don’t want to see the word firm in the going description.’
The 28 final declarations for the Scottish National are headed by Nicky Henderson-trained Ultima Chase winner Beware The Bear and also include Sue Smith’s Vintage Clouds, a faller at the first fence in last Saturday’s Grand National at Aintree.
Big River in the joint favourite for the Scottish National alongside Dingo Dollar (pictured)
Flat jockey Kieran Shoemark, who Racemail revealed had failed a drugs test for cocaine at Kempton in November, has been told he cannot re-apply for a licence until May 29 by the BHA.
Shoemark, 23, told a disciplinary panel that he had been fighting a long battle with alcohol addiction and had turned to cocaine more frequently after a bad fall at Lingfield in June in which he broke six ribs and punctured a lung.
Shoemark said failing the test on November 24 had been a ‘relief’ because it allowed him to face up to his addiction.