Horse Racing

Tom Bellamy.

Jockey forced to miss New Year's Day race at Cheltenham after being suspended

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Jockey Tom Bellamy was disqualified from racing at Cheltenham on a New Year's Day Race, as per the Mirror.

The disqualification comes as a massive blow, as Bellamy was set to partner with two horses on the festive race; Ballymalin and Splash Of Ginge.

The official stewards' report read: "The sampling officer reported that Tom Bellamy provided a sample which was found to contain alcohol above the threshold level for breath samples. The rider, the clerk of the scales, and the sampling officer were interviewed.

The British Horseracing Authority manual for riders quantifies this threshold as "the A sample at or above 54 milligrams per 100 millilitres in urine or 17 micrograms per 100 millilitres in breath (as measured using BHA approved, evidential breath testing equipment)."

The report continued to read: "The matter was referred to the head office of the British Horseracing Authority and Bellamy was suspended from riding for the rest of the day."

The punishment is in keeping with the law as stated in the rider's manual: "66.3.1 shall suspend the Rider from riding in any race on the day in question..."

The bizarre incident seemed to stem from harmless New Year's Eve celebrations, that typically extend well into the early hours as revellers celebrate the arrival of 2018.

The manual clearly lists alcohol as a banned substance, although that classification does not apply where a sample was taken off-course, the banned substance is alcohol and the rider had no forthcoming professional riding engagements of any description on the day on which the sample was taken.

Bellamy's problem is that, although his drinks were consumed before midnight, it stayed in his system long enough to be caught on a standard breath test at the meeting.

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Bellamy is attached to the yard of Nigel Twiston-Davies, who said: “I am just devastated for him. He is a big lad, he just had a drink.

“His last drink was before 12 last night. If you are a big boy and you can’t eat, your body can’t absorb it. He is killing himself.

“These things happen, and it shouldn’t have happened, but he is just unlucky. I definitely don’t blame him.”

Bellamy's best results were a second place finish at Wetherby on December 27, 2017, riding Turning Gold and at Ludlow where he placed first with the horse Harambe on December 20, 2017.

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