Kiwi jockey faces suspension, still runner-up

Last updated 21:56 06/11/2012
James McDonald
Fairfax NZ
James McDonald

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Luke Nolen earned himself a return visit to the stewards room on Thursday after a fiery exchange resulting from a suspension issued to Victoria's premier jockey for his Melbourne Cup ride on Lights Of Heaven.

Nolen was one of three Cup jockeys suspended with New Zealand jockey James McDonald, who rode runner-up Fiorente and Rhys McLeod on last-placed Ethiopia also outed.

McDonald was outed for shifting ground sharply at the 800-metre mark and said he would appeal his 14-meeting ban which also starts on Friday.

Lights Of Heaven dropped out to finish 16th.

Nolen, suspended for 12 meetings, reserved his plea against a charge of causing interference to Kelinni and Mourayan as the field left the straight the first time.

The jockey asked stewards to adjourn the inquiry, saying he was fatigued.

"It's not a complicated matter and you're a senior rider," chief steward Terry Bailey told Nolen to which the jockey replied: "Thanks Terry, you've been great today mate."

Stewards said they would discuss Nolen's conduct at Thursday's Oaks meeting with his ban due to start the day after.

McLeod's 12-meeting suspension also starts on Friday.

Despite the three suspensions, Bailey said he had seen rougher Cups and overall it was pretty clean.

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