Neil Callan clear to ride in Hong Kong again after successful appeal

Horse Racing Neil Callan
Neil Callan: succeeded in getting lengthy ban reduced at appeal. Photo: Hong Kong Jockey Club

By Jon Lees

Hong Kong: Neil Callan can resume riding in Hong Kong at the end of May after he won his appeal on Thursday against a rest-of-season ban.

The jockey was stood down earlier this month with immediate effect until the end of the season [July 14] by the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s licensing committee at a hearing into his conduct at a stewards’ inquiry in February, at which he received a three-day ban for careless riding and was fined HK$20,000.

Callan challenged the severity of the penalty – effectively a 28-meeting ban – at an appeal before HKJC stewards and won a reduced sentence.

“The appeal panel carefully considered all the evidence taken in this case together with the further statements made at the hearing today,” a statement said.

“The panel allowed the appeal and adjusted the period of suspension so that it will now expire on 27 May 2021, on which day he may resume riding. The panel further ordered the appeal deposit be refunded.”

The 42-year-old jockey was facing an immediate end to a successful eight-year stint in the region, with the sentence also preventing him from riding in any other jurisdiction during his time on the sidelines.

He will now miss 15 race meetings but will be able to ride in the last 13 meetings of the campaign.

Callan was one of Britain’s most prolific winners before he relocated to Hong Kong in 2014. He twice finished runner-up in the jockeys’ championship, riding 170 winners in his best season in 2007. 

His G1 wins included the Nunthorpe Stakes on Borderlescott in 2009 and Middle Park Stakes on Astaire in 2013. He has ridden 21 winners in Hong Kong this season to take his overall total to 276.

• Visit the Hong Kong Jockey Club website

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