Irish jockey Richard Hughes has lost his appeal against a lengthy ban given to him while riding in India, putting his participation in doubt for the start of the British flat racing season.
Hughes was banned by the Mumbai stewards for a period from March 11 until April 29, the end of the Mumbai racing season, for not riding to the trainer's instructions during a race at the Mahalaxmi Race Course on February 16.
The offence is not punishable under British rules but Hughes will talk to British officials on Monday to see if the ban will be implemented in Britain, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) said in a report on its website (www.britishhorseracing.com)
"I'm not sure of the procedure so we'll see what the BHA say," Hughes was quoted as saying on the website.
The jockey, who rode HJ Antia-trained filly Jacqueline Smile in the February 16 race, was banned for not following the trainer's instructions and so not allowing his mount to run on its merits.
His appeal against the ban was rejected on Sunday, an official of the Royal Western India Turf Club confirmed to Reuters.
The British flat racing season starts on March 31.