Jockey Tom Bellamy misses out on New Year's Day rides due to failed breath test 1 year ago

Jockey Tom Bellamy misses out on New Year's Day rides due to failed breath test

He missed out on three rides in Cheltenham as a result.

Jockey Tom Bellamy failed a breath test at Cheltenham on Monday morning, with "alcohol above the threshold level for breath samples."

He was down for three rides on the New Year's Day card in Pretsbury park, including Splash Of Ginge in the big handicap chase of the day.

The Englishman was also due to ride Ballymalin – who finished in third place in the 12.50 handicap chase and Qualando. The Alan Jones-trained gelding finished well down the field in the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle which went off at 3.10.

A report from the stewards read as follows.

"The sampling officer reported that Tom Bellamy provided a sample which was found to contain alcohol above the threshold level for breath samples.

"The rider, the clerk of the scales and the sampling officer were interviewed. The matter was referred to the head office of the British Horseracing Authority and Bellamy was suspended from riding for the rest of the day."

There was plenty of sympathy for the jockey, given that the alcohol limit for jockey's is half the limit of that of driver's.

Nigel Twiston Davis, trainer of Splash Of Ginge, felt sorry for his jockey.

"He's a big boy, he had a couple of drinks last night and nothing to eat. I'm not upset for me. I'm desperately upset for him," he said when interviewed on ITV.

If that's the case, and Bellamy only marginally failed the test, one could have a degree of sympathy for him.

Jockeys are some of the hardest working sportsmen in the game. They've been riding through the whole Christmas period while most of us had our feet up. They had to take a backward step from the dinner table while most of us were scoffing everything in front of us.

They pare their bodies to the minimum, they push their bodies to the limits. They put their bodies at risk every time they mount a horse.

They do it for the love of it.

Though it was unprofessional by Bellamy, and though he has to take responsibility for his actions, many will have some sympathy for him for having a bottle of beer or two on New Years' Eve.

A further inquiry will be held in London over the next few days, where Bellamy will find out if he has a ban coming his way for his actions.