Adam Kirby is having a really up and down week. He was on a high on Tuesday after riding his first four-timer at Kempton, but brought down to earth yesterday when he was again referred to the BHA for repeated infringements of the whip rules.
Kirby was delighted with his 4,207/1 aggregate performance the other night, with winners from four different yards, though his remarks immediately afterwards may turn out to be somewhat inaccurate. He said, “It’s been a goodnight and that’s my first ever four-timer. I’ve had three before but never four. I’m sticking around for most of the winter and hopefully we can keep it going.”
What looks likely to prevent that happening is Kirby’s technique. Despite riding a best ever 140 winners this year, so he’s getting plenty of practice, Kirby faces a BHA disciplinary panel today. It follows a win on Toast Of New York at Wolverhampton last Friday, where the stewards found him to have overstepped the mark in his use of the whip. This on a horse that finished 16 lengths in front of its closest pursuer and earned the comment in the Sporting Life race comments “Made all, clear travelling strongly 2f out, ridden out final furlong, unchallenged.” You wonder why he even used the whip.
This was the fifth infringement in the last four months that would have earned him a short suspension, which left the stewards with no choice but to refer him on to the BHA. He’s the first jockey to be referred twice under those circumstances. Kirby received 21 days on the sidelines last summer for whip offences, and surely faces an even longer break now.