Trainer Paul Nicholls faces anxious wait to discover if jockey Lorcan Williams will be ruled out of next month’s Cheltenham Festival for breaching new whip rules during a winning ride at Haydock
- The 23-year-old fears he will be censured for his short-head victory at Haydock
- Jockey will on Tuesday learn his fate when the whip review committee meets
- A whip suspension this week would come into effect during Cheltenham week
Paul Nicholls may lose one of his key riders for next month’s Cheltenham Festival, with Lorcan Williams facing a 16-day whip ban.
The 23-year-old fears he will be censured for his short-head victory on Makin’yourmindup in the Albert Bartlett Prestige Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday, having exceeded the whip threshold under the revised penalty structure introduced eight days ago.
Given the race carried Grade Two status, any penalties would be doubled under the new regulations and the Welsh rider will on Tuesday learn his fate when the whip review committee meets.
‘Lorcan has got himself into some hot water under these new whip rules,’ Nicholls told Betfair.
‘My understanding and his understanding, although it has to be confirmed by the whip review panel, is he thought he was going to get 16 days which would rule him out of Cheltenham and that is terribly sad.
Jockey Lorcan Williams could receive a ban for overuse of the whip at Haydock on Saturday
‘He said if he hadn’t given him a couple of cracks, he wouldn’t have won. What was he to do, drop his hands and get beat? This is where there’s a grey area and it’s difficult.’
Any whip suspensions incurred this week would come into effect during Cheltenham week, so Nicholls has warned stable jockey Harry Cobden to keep that in mind over the coming days.
Meanwhile, Bristol De Mai, a three-time winner of the Grade One Betfair Chase, has been retired following his 11th place in the National Trial at Haydock on Saturday.
Part-owner Simon Munir tweeted: ‘Bristol De Mai has been a legend and retires 100 per cent sound and happy.’
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