International jockeys have long known the perils of veering off a straight line when racing in the United States, but Pierre-Charles Boudot has discovered that stewards will take an extremely dim view for any such manoeuvre even once the horses have crossed the line.
Boudot has been given a 15-day ban, which runs from this Tuesday, July 17, to July 31 inclusive, but, in choosing not to appeal it, has been allowed to nominate the Qipco-sponsored King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Prix de Psyche – both of which are a week on Saturday – as races from which he can be considered exempt from the suspension.
That is certainly good news for supporters of Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud winner Waldgeist, whom Andre Fabre confirmed at Maisons-Laffitte on Sunday is an intended runner at Ascot if all goes well in the next fortnight.
The incident that incurred the wrath of the New York Racing Association stewards came in the Belmont Derby two Saturdays ago, or rather after it, with Boudot finishing fifth on the Pia Brandt-trained Kingstar.
Head-on footage shows Kingstar drifting across towards the rail on the run-out after the post, eventually squeezing sixth-placed Maraud and John Velasquez.
The coming-together took place at a slow canter, but the pictures show Velasquez riding back alongside Boudot, appearing to remonstrate with him.
The stewards handed down the ban for "gross careless riding and extremely unprofessional riding".
Waldgeist is a best-priced 9-1 for the King George and will tackle the race if he continues to satisfy Fabre in his work.
"I'm happy with him and all being well he'll go to Ascot," reported the trainer.