‘When will this BS stop?’ – Fresh ‘elbowgate’ storm hits racing as Kentucky Derby hero accused of ‘doing a Soumillon’

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THE latest ‘elbowgate’ storm to hit racing has left punters asking: “When will this BS stop?”

Christophe Soumillon shocked the racing world when he shoved Rossa Ryan out of the saddle at Saint-Cloud racecourse last Friday.


Kentucky Derby hero Leon was accused of ‘doing a Soumillon’ after going into a rider – but he said his saddle slipped
Soumillon shocked the racing world when he shoved Ryan out of the saddle


Soumillon shocked the racing world when he shoved Ryan out of the saddle

Ryan was lucky to avoid serious injury and Soumillon was banned for two months.

Another jockey in Ecuador got a lifetime ban for pushing a rival out of the saddle.

Now Kentucky Derby winner Sonny Leon has been accused of ‘doing a Soumillon’ after appearing to lurch into a rival in a race.

Leon, aboard Derby hero Rich Strike, claimed his saddle slipped in the closing stages of last Saturday’s £440,000 Lukas Classic.

Footage captured Leon veering wildly into Hot Rod Charlie and his jockey Tyler Gaffalione.

Rich Strike lost the Churchill Downs feature in a photo finish – with Gaffalione laughing at Leon after the race.

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Reports surfaced on Sunday claiming Leon had been banned 15 days for his lunge – although there was no official confirmation.

But punters were united in their anger at what they perceived to be a dangerous ride.

One viewer wrote on Twitter: “Leon trying to do a Soumillon…”

Former jockey Richard Migliore said: “After watching the Lukas classic numerous times @SONNYLEON1 cost Rich Strike the win by pulling him over to Hot Rod Charlie and putting his elbow into @Tyler_Gaffinstead of going forward and driving to the wire.

“When does this BS stop? It’s horse racing not jockey racing. Enough.

“This was a blatant attempt at fouling another runner in my opinion.

“Race riding is an art. It’s subtle not shifting left or right dramatically or elbowing a rival.”

While a New York Racing Association official wrote: “As much as I’d like to praise how well Rich Strike ran, this is pretty bad stuff from the jock.

“Obviously crossing a line.

“A suspension is warranted for these kind of shenanigans.”

But Rich Strike’s trainer Eric Reed defended the jockey.

He said: “Sonny said the saddle loosened to the left.

“He said, ‘I started to lose my balance. The saddle slipped over and made me lean to the left’.”

Reed added: “If that doesn’t happen we win the race.”


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