Nick Keal suspended for improper riding

Apprentice Nick Keal has been suspended for a month after admitting steering his horse into another runner past the post in the Hamilton Hotel Handicap at Doomben.

Keal rode Advance Warning and was charged with directing the horse into Les Tilley’s mount Romakash as the field was pulling up.

Keal pleaded guilty and told stewards he had a “brain snap” after Tilley caused him interference in the race.

Stewards earlier had suspended Tilley for 10 days for causing the interference.

Senior jockey Jim Byrne appeared with Keal who was back riding after taking a break to get his weight under control.

“I am in no way asking stewards to under play the gravity of the charge. But I would ask you take the fact Nick has been struggling with weight throughout his career,” Byrne said.

“Sometimes the softer approach can have better long-term results.”

Keal said he admitted he had done wrong but the incident wouldn’t have happened but for the earlier interference.

Chief steward Peter Chadwick said it wasn’t up to the wronged party in an interference case to take matters into their own hands.

“Two wrongs don’t make a right. We dealt with jockey Tilley earlier,” he said.

Keal was suspended for 10 days at the Sunshine Coast on Friday night.

He will begin his month’s suspension at the end of that term.

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