Seconds out…it’s Haynes v Brooke

Harry Haynes

Many young jockeys have spent a few rounds in the boxing ring as part of a regime to speed up their reflexes. Most of the time the boxing stops there. Last Friday at Newcastle it didn’t.

Jockeys Harry Haynes and Henry Brooke were involved in what was described as “an altercation” after the final race, and as a result the stewards there have banned both of them for five days. The two are normally the best of friends – they were part of the group of four jockeys on holiday together earlier this year when Campbell Gillies met his untimely death in the Greek island of Corfu.

On Friday it was a different matter, with Haynes angry with his weighing room colleague, claiming that Brooke had failed to give him racing room in the bumper. There were two incidents in the race that lie at the heart of their disagreement.

Henry Brooke

Very early in the race, Brooke was finding it difficult to settle his mount, Croco Bay. As the field approached the wings where one of the hurdles had been removed, Haynes moved out so that his rival was not squeezed out. Very gentlemanly, sporting and sensible.

Once Croco Bay had settled, he raced prominently until the field came round the home turn, where he began to weaken. Haynes claimed that as Croco Bay weakened. Brooke hampered a clear run through for him on board Enchanted Garden. The camera shot on the race replay changes at the critical moment, but as far as I can tell, Enchanted Garden was not hampered in any way, and the incident certainly had no bearing on the result of the race.

Haynes and Brooke had a lively exchange of views as they returned to the ring after the race, and continued their debate with a bout of fisticuffs back in the weighing room. This was seen by the racecourse security officer, and after interviewing both him and the jockeys, the pair were suspended from 30 November to 4 December.

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