S’Manga Khumalo: rode at the Shergar Cup in 2014
PICTURE: Getty Images
By Michael Clower 12:17PM 11 AUG 2016
South Africa: Champion jockey S’Manga Khumalo has been hit with a 60-day ban for dropping his hands.
Khumalo became South Africa’s first black champion jockey in 2013-14 and repeated the feat last season, but his hopes of a third straight title have been severely dented.
He was given the draconian ban for his handling of 7-1 chance Captain Courteous in a minor maiden at Fairview in Port Elizabeth on June 24.
He cruised the front over a furlong out and went more than a length clear before sitting almost motionless, seemingly convinced he had the race in the bag.
But Luyolo Mxothwa on 2-1 favourite Seattle Light refused to concede defeat, kept driving and got up on the line to score by a head.
Banned until October
Tellytrack commentator Alistair Cohen exclaimed: “Has Khumalo pulled off a howler? Oh my word. I think there is going to be drama.”
The local stipendiary stewards referred the matter to the National Horseracing Authority who held an inquiry at its Johannesburg offices on Monday.
Khumalo was found guilty of “failing to take all reasonable and permissible measures from approximately 450 metres out to ensure that his horse had been given a full opportunity to win or obtain the best possible placing.”
He pleaded guilty and the ban runs from Tuesday August 9 until October 7 inclusive.