Jockey Jason Watson loses appeal against controversial ban after 'extraordinary' decision by racing chiefs

JOCKEY Jason Watson has failed in his attempt to have his controversial ban overturned.

Watson was deemed to have not achieved the best possible position on a horse despite it veering left out of the stalls and giving his rivals a huge headstart.

Natty Night was beaten by 26 lengths in seventh at Nottingham last week when making his debut.

Watson hit out at the ban, saying he felt 'victimised' by the stewards and signalled he would immediately appeal the ban.

However, even on appeal the independent panel stuck by their guns and kept by their charge that 'real, timely or substantial effort' was not made.

The charge can bring up to a three week ban, so some leniency was given to the 21-year-old.

But it hasn't prevented many from showing their disbelief at the ban being upheld.

Respected commentator Mike Cattermole labelled it 'extraordinary' while our columnist Matt Chapman said it was a 'total embarrassment'.

The BHA said after the hearing: "Following this morning's hearing, the Disciplinary Panel has reduced Jason Watson's suspension to 5 days having found him in breach of Rule (F)37.

"Written reasons will follow in due course."

Throughout the hearing the BHA argued that Watson gave up too early in the race despite the slow start.

They said that Watson could not know what would have happened to the horses in front.

Watson had support from his boss Roger Charlton, as well as a host of other big name trainers.

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