Top jockey Adrian Coome enjoys another win, this time on Outback Sapper, at Callaghan Park late last year.
Top jockey Adrian Coome enjoys another win, this time on Outback Sapper, at Callaghan Park late last year. Sharyn O'Neill

Jockeys suspended

APPETITE-suppressed jockeys Adrian Coome and Trinity Bannon will have plenty of time to "chew the fat" after being suspended for two months and one month respectively at stewards' inquiries at Townsville's Cluden Park racecourse yesterday.

Both faced Racing Queensland Limited (RQL) stewards over tests conducted at Rockhampton races on January 12 had proved positive to the appetite suppressant phentermine.

They were charged under Australian Rule of Racing 81 (A). (1) (a) to which they pleaded guilty to providing a sample that contained the presence of a banned substance in phentermine.

Mackay-based Coome, currently the premier Rockhampton jockey, was suspended from riding in races from January 27 up to and including March 27, 2012.

Bannon, also of Mackay and prominent in jockeys' premierships in country Queensland, was outed from January 31 until February 29, 2012.

North Queensland based newly appointed RQL chief steward Mark Hill said the marked variances in the penalties pertained to the records of both riders.

"It was Adrian Coome's second offence under AR 81 dealing with banned substances. He had been charged and suspended back in 2008 over the use of diuretics," Hill said.

Coome has long battled weight problems as his natural weight is 57kg or 58kg yet he reduces to ride at 55kg on race days.

He admits the long layoff could cause havoc with his weight and future career if he was to lay idle during his enforced suspension.

"I'm not appealing the penalty as, actually, I am pretty happy with only getting two months as it was my second offence," Coome said.

"I'm not too sure what I will do at the moment but I have been offered a job at the mines. That may help to keep my weight down," Coome said.

Already Coome has paid dearly for his misadventure with weight suppressants as he missed the winning ride on Doubtfilly, the brilliant juvenile, at Eagle Farm in Brisbane last Saturday.

Through her QTIS 600 status, Doubtfilly earned a whopping $74,000 for her win from which Coome would have been entitled to $3700 in winning percentages which for just a few minutes work certainly even dwarfs a miner's salary.

Such is the demand on his successful services; Coome's suspension could potentially cost him in the vicinity of $30,000.

Bannon, currently the leading female jockey on country ratings in Queensland, faced her first charge under the rule and she is most unlikely to appeal the penalty which, as it stands, prevents her from riding at a further eight race meetings.

Given that she, like Coome, was stood down last week by stewards, her penalty will also deprive her of many thousands of dollars from riding receipts.

Meanwhile, Rockhampton jockey John Stephens has on appeal had a month's race riding suspension reduced to three weeks.

Stewards blamed Stephens for carelessness resulting in a race fall involving Brisbane apprentice Justin Wood at Rockhampton last May.

The Brisbane-based First Level Appeal Board dismissed the appeal from Stephens but lessened the penalty to end on February 17 because of his good riding record.

Sunshine Coast jockey Lyle Finlay has been suspended by Rockhampton stewards until February 19 for not riding second-placed Top Messiah at Callaghan Park races last Thursday out to the end of the race.



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