Neil Callan to appeal controversial 28-meeting suspension




Irishman Neil Callan will appeal a controversial suspension handed down to him which has all but ended his Hong Kong career.


It was announced on Monday night that Callan had lodged his notice to appeal the 28-meeting suspension handed down for being petulant and disrespectful during a stewards’ inquiry on February 3 at Happy Valley.


Callan made it clear during the February 3 inquiry, which saw him suspended for careless riding and fined HK$20,000, that he did not agree with the decision.


He has since written a letter of apology to those involved and came armed with letters from

owners and trainers supporting his application to see out the remainder of the season.


The notice to appeal sets in motion a process which will see the Jockey Club this week issue Callan with the official transcripts from last Wednesday’s hearing.


From there, the veteran rider has four days to lodge his grounds of appeal to the stewards should he choose to.


It is expected that Callan will appeal the severity of the punishment, which has seen him banned from riding around the world until the end of the Hong Kong season on July 14.


Jockey Club’s punishment of Neil Callan is manifestly excessive – but there is a solution


Callan was one of the last people to successfully appeal a serious charge, escaping an improper riding charge in 2014.


Before that, it had been a decade since a jockey had managed to beat a serious charge on appeal.


Callan last week piloted Mighty Giant to victory in the Group Two Chairman’s Trophy (1,600m), his last victory in Hong Kong before having to forgo five rides at Happy Valley on Thursday night as a result of Wednesday’s suspension.


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