Royal Ascot: The Ridler causes 50/1 shock in Norfolk

The Ridler survived a stewards’ enquiry to cause a 50/1 shock in a dramatic renewal of the Norfolk Stakes on day three at Royal Ascot.

Richard Fahey’s runner, a huge outsider in a classy Group Two contest after winning just one of his first three starts, came drastically across the field from the far side of the track having come out of stall two.

Jockey Paul Hanagan appeared to be travelling the strongest of them all as his mount hit the front, but continued to drift in front of rivals, including the strong-travelling favourite Walbank for David Loughnane.

A stewards’ enquiry was quickly called but, after initial investigations, the race result stood, with Walbank second, Crispy Cat third and Brave Nation back in fourth.

Hanagan told Sky Sports Racing: “I’m yet to go in yet so there might be a little holiday! He just pricked his ears in front and jinked left a bit but he was always clear and doing enough.

“A lot of horses can do that. I think he might have spotted the exit and it’s just a lot of greenness.

The Ridler (red) hangs across the track ahead of his rivals in the Norfolk Stakes

The Ridler (red) hangs across the track ahead of his rivals in the Norfolk Stakes

“It’s a big place to come and have confidence but I did think 50/1 was a bit unfair.

“The pass few weeks have been tough, my family will vouch for that, but I’ve got the feeling of onwards and upwards. That’s one for the family. I can go home and say I’m a Royal Ascot winner today.”

‘Dangerous riding rules unfit for purpose’

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Racing expert Kevin Blake says Paul Hanagan’s ride on Norfolk Stakes winner The Ridler should not be accepted after the winner survived a stewards’ enquiry despite appearing to interfere with rivals.

A disappointed Loughnane, who filled the runner-up spot in the same race last year with Go Bears Go, told Sky Sports Racing: “It’s deja vu. Our horse has done very well. He’s a superstar and we’re very proud of him.”

Racing expert Kevin Blake told Sky Sports Racing: “He {Paul Hanagan] has committed a professional foul and there is no consequence to losing the race.

“Jockeys aren’t getting punished enough so they are taking the ban. He will likely get a high level careless riding ban.

“There is a fair case to suggest that could be defined as dangerous riding but as we know in Britain that rule hasn’t been applied since 2009. They don’t use it. It’s completely unfit for purposes. It’s deeply frustrating.”