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Posted 2019-12-07 18:59:21  
Seven jockeys receive ten-day bans after race declared void at Sundown

Seven jockeys have each received ten-day bans after failing to stop when a yellow void flag was raised in the Betfair London National Handicap Chase at Sandown on Saturday.

The bans are set to begin on December 21, meaning a number of jockeys will miss out on crucial big-race rides over the Christmas period, including the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Among the jockeys banned were Harry Skelton, Daryl Jacob and Jamie Moore.

Philip Donovan, whose mount Doing Fine was first past the post, has also been banned along with James Davies and Stan Sheppard.

Adam Wedge, who had earlier guided Esprit Du Large to victory in the Henry VIII Novices' Chase, was the seventh rider banned.

The flag was raised by course officials to notify the jockeys following the fall of Houblon Des Obeaux after the Pond Fence, with the majority of them continuing to ride to the finish.

The Venetia Williams-trained Houblon Des Obeaux died as a result of the fall.

Paddy Power and Betfair are both paying out on Doing Fine while voiding all other selections on the race. BoyleSports and Unibet are paying out on the first four home and refunding bets on all other selections in the race.

Chris Rutter, the chief steward on duty at Sandown, explained: "The yellow stop-race flag was put into place due to a stricken horse just coming into the home straight. When that flag is flown it means the race must stop and the race has been declared void.

"The jockeys should have continued up the home straight but they went round the pond fence. All those involved have received ten-day bans. The stop-race flag is there when there is a major hazard ahead. When that flag flies you have to stop riding.

"The film clearly shows the flag was there and that some of the jockeys have gone to stop and then ignored it. That's what the film's telling us and for that the jockeys have got ten days.

"I don't think it was that dark, we had at 30 minutes of daylight left at the time of the incident. The weather conditions should have nothing to do with it."

The jockeys reported hearing a whistle but said the flag was not clearly visible in the gloom.

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