Jockey banned after positive cocaine test

Danny Cook received a six'month ban. Picture: Getty
Danny Cook received a six'month ban. Picture: Getty
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Jockey Danny Cook has been suspended for six months by the British Horseracing Authority after testing positive for a banned substance.

Cook has not ridden since he was informed by the BHA last month that he had failed a 
drugs test.

A Cheltenham Festival winner five years ago on Great Endeavour, Cook tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, at Musselburgh on
1 February.

Cook was told of his penalty at a disciplinary hearing yesterday. BHA spokesman Robin Mounsey confirmed: “Danny has been banned for six months.

“The ban will be backdated to when Danny stopped riding, [which was] 24 February.”

Cook was represented by Rory MacNeice who had hoped that, because the rider admitted the breach from an early stage, saving the BHA time and money, he may get a reduced penalty.

However, the disciplinary panel found the penalty was appropriate in the circumstances of a finding of cocaine “because the Panel considered that as an experienced jockey, taking a substance, which later proved to be an illegal Class A drug, the night before he was booked to take six rides, which he then rode, was a serious matter.”

Cook’s agent, Bruce Jeffrey, said the jockey will be ready to return when his ban expires. “He has served a month of it already and will keep riding out through the summer,” said Jeffrey. I’ve already been told by both Sue and Harvey Smith and Brian Ellison that, when he returns, they will carry on using him.”

Meanwhile, a host of bookmakers have reported significant money for Gleneagles in the ante-post market on the Qipco 2,000 Guineas. Fourth on his racecourse debut, the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt finished a fine juvenile campaign when passing the post first in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp on Arc day, only to be demoted to third by the stewards for causing interference.

The son of Galileo had previously taken Group One honours in the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh.

Ladbrokes cut the Coolmore-owned runner to 4-1 from 6-1 overnight and 8-1 at the start of the week. Betfred also went 4-1, having initially been 5-1 from 6-1 and William Hill mirrored that move. Coral are 9-1 from 6-1.