Racing UK

Pat Cosgrave set for return to Meydan after paying back Emirates Racing Authority

Monday 2 January 2017

Pat Cosgrave riding for the Dubai-based Godolphin racing operationJockey Pat Cosgrave is free to ride at Meydan on Thursday after agreeing to pay back his costs to the Emirates Racing Authority (Racingfotos)

By Geoffrey Riddle

Jockey Pat Cosgrave has decided to pay off his costs to the Emirates Racing Authority in order to ride at Meydan this season. 

Cosgrave was found guilty of improper riding aboard Anaerobio following the Group One Jebel Hatta at the Dubai racecourse in 2014 and was banned by the regulatory body for six months.

The former champion Irish apprentice appealed against his suspension and it was later reduced to four months. Cosgrave then went to the British Horseracing Authority who did not reciprocate the ban here.

Cosgrave was then placed on the Forfeit List, a move that the jockey described as 'madness,' which meant he could not ride in Dubai until the costs were paid and expected to never ride in Dubai again.

At the time the costs equated to around £35,000, but due to exchange rate fluctuations now stand at roughly £48,000.

Cosgrave is clear to ride at Meydan on Thursday, where Anaerobio was entered on Monday by Mike De Kock for a seven-furlong handicap for the opening Dubai World Cup Carnival meeting.

“There’s no hard feelings. I spoke to Sam Shinsky, the head of stewards at the ERA, and Frank Gabriel of the Dubai Racing Club and they seem very accommodating about the whole thing,” Cosgrave said.

“I wish I had paid it several months ago as the exchange rate has made it around £48,000. Prize-money is good in Dubai though and I hope to not be riding for free for too long.”

Gabriel, Executive Director of the Dubai Racing Club, confirmed the news: "Pat Cosgrave is licenced and eligible to ride at Meydan on Thursday," he said.

Cosgrave will be attached to De Kock’s stable and will be one of four riders at the South African’s Blue Stables. Jim Crowley will get first call on Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s horses in his new role as retained rider, while Christophe Soumillon will ride all of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa’s horses, the best of which is Mubtaahij, last season’s Dubai World Cup runner-up.

Bernard Fayd’Herbe is another rider already out in Dubai but is not as light-weight at Cosgrave and there should be significant openings elsewhere with agent Carl Hodgson booking rides. He also hopes to ride out at Saeed bin Suroor's Al Quoz stables.

Cosgrave has needed time to pay back the significant sum but after two lucrative seasons with William Haggas he now feels he is in a position to do so.

In the four seasons in the UAE up until his ban, Cosgrave collected over £1.5million in prize-money. Cosgrave broke the 100 winners barrier in Britain in the past two seasons, and thanks to rides such as that aboard Storm The Stars in the 2015 Great Voltigeur, Besharah in the 2015 Lowther Stakes and Mubtasim in the Weatherbys Hamilton £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes he has claimed total prize-money of £2,869,792 during that time frame. 

During the heat of the argument the ERA’s costs left a sour taste in Cosgrave’s mouth and bewildered the Professional Jockeys Association in Britain. Cosgrave's charges comprised half of the appeal costs and the transcription fees in addition to the fees of the ERA panel’s members.

The Professional Jockeys Association felt that the ERA did not adequately outline the term of ‘improper riding” for which Cosgrave was banned.

Since then Sam Shinsky has been appointed the Head ERA Steward in place of the departing John Zucal, and it is understood that the changing of the guard has helped smooth the process.

The appeal costs rule was implemented in October 2013, following Zucal's appointment. 

During the ride in question, Cosgrave appeared to look around at least three times before allowing his mount to drift from the rail, a move which allowed his stablemate Vercingetorix an easy run through on his way to a two-length success.

“Since it happened my career has taken off in England,” Cosgrave added. “I said I would either feel sorry for myself or I could give myself a kick up the backside.

"I want to draw a line underneath it all and just get on with it.” 

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