Royal Ascot: Frankie Dettori handed nine-day ban

By Frank KeoghBBC Sport at Ascot

Frankie Dettori has been handed a nine-day riding ban for using his whip with excessive frequency when winning on Rewilding at Royal Ascot.

Dettori, who is due to start a separate 10-day ban on Friday, struck his mount 24 times during the final two furlongs of the Prince of Wales's Stakes.

Rewilding came from behind to beat the favourite So You Think at the meeting.

Dettori was set to miss the last two days of Ascot after his ban for failing to ride to a finish in the Epsom Oaks.

The Italian-born jockey's latest ban will rule him out from 29 June, and means he misses one of the summer's big flat races, the Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on 2 July.

He was already banned from 17 to 26 June after he dropped his hands and forfeited third place on Blue Bunting in the Epsom Oaks on 3 June.

Dettori has the most Royal Ascot wins of any current rider, with victory on Rewilding taking him to a career total of 45 victories.

Immediately after the race, and before the ban was announced, he said: "I must say that even the second [So You Think] never gave up.

"It was a tremendous battle with two great horses. Rewilding is a very good horse and has shown his true colours today."

The ban comes in a year where racing has been wrestling with the issue of whip use, with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) in the midst of conducting a thorough review.

In April, Grand National-winning jockey Jason Maguire was banned for five days for excessively using his whip in the closing stages on board Ballabriggs.

The BHA claims whip use is fundamentally not cruel and points to the modifications of design which have softened it in recent years, pointing out it is rare, although not impossible, for a horse to be physically marked by a whip.

But welfare groups are concerned that tired horses are forced beyond their limits as they are cajoled at the end of races.