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About John:

John is the newest member of the PR team having joined in April 2014. In his previous role he worked as a broadcaster where he could be heard building up to the action in horse racing, greyhounds and a range of sports. As a PR manager he will be responsible for Coral's news website providing the latest market movers , as well as various other media relations, including Box Nation and RPGTV. John is a proud Rochdale fan having been born in the town which has produced the likes of Gracie Fields and Lisa Stansfield.

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Jamie Spencer talks about Secret Gesture disqualification

Jamie Spencer today in his Coral blog spoke about his disappointment at Secret Gesture being disqualified after winning the Group 1 Beverly D Stakes in America on Saturday night.

He said: “Everything worked out perfectly in the race from my eyes. I was able to get across from my wide draw and sit just behind the pace. My horse picked up well in the straight and got the job done. What happened after that was just really disappointing.

“In the final 50 yards of the race my horse shifted out but I felt then, and now, following a review of the race, that she was clear of Stephanie’s Kitten as she moved out. As soon as I drifted across the track I moved my whip into my correct hand to straighten her up.

“Being a jockey or a sportsman, you never criticise your fellow competitors, however, in this situation, I have to say, the way Irad Ortiz Jr behaved going to the line doesn’t fit with what actually happened. Other American riders came to me afterwards and were baffled by the outcome. What Ortiz did was to take a dive, as much as anything else. The amount of ground he got his horse to lose in two strides going to line was like a 45-year old struggling jumps jockey going to an open ditch. It’s just ridiculous.

“I have said nothing since Saturday evening, however, I have reviewed it hundreds of times. If you look at the side on view, he is more than a length behind me. I will give him one thing in his defence, his horse was hanging left the whole way down the straight so maybe she hung onto my heels late but there was no reason to check my horse.

“There is obviously now going to be an appeal. It doesn’t really affect Ralph Beckett or me but it does affect Newells Park Stud and obviously Qatar Racing who jointly own the filly. If she is a Group One winner it helps with their prodigy and they have invested a lot of money in the filly so it is a real shame for them. A Group One victory would make her paddock value a whole lot higher.

“Despite the disappointment, we have to move on as jockeys. I’ve got York to look forward to now this week, if you dont move on, you end up being a bad jockey. I can’t change what happened so my focus will be on this week. That’s the way I am. I watched the video to review the race but that is done with now and I have moved on.”

Spencer has been declared to ride The Grey Gatsby in the Juddmonte International, the feature race on day one of the Ebor Festival on Wednesday.

“Kevin is very happy with our horse going into the Juddmonte. It looks to be the race of the season as we have the Guineas and Derby winners in there and the unknown horse in Time Test who could be anything. My horse has been there and done it, he will have to give weight to the three-year olds but he has got the form,” said Spencer.

He added: “With the pacemaker in there, it looks like it will be a clean run race. There won’t be a steady pace as Golden Horn has no stamina doubts and if there was, it would play into the hands of Gleneagles. I am really looking forward to it.

“Golden Horn does not have much left to prove. He won the Derby and then the Coral-Eclipse. He’s also won over this course and distance. I was impressed with Time Test at Royal Ascot but he only beat Peacock, these are different types of horses to what he has been running against. Gleneagles is by Galileo, who has a huge influence on stamina so I think he’ll get the 10 furlongs. He’s never looked tired at the end of his races, he just tends to beat what is put in front of him.”

Spencer has three rides on Wednesday with his opening mount coming in the first race of the meeting.

“Earlier in the card on Wednesday, I ride Distant Past in the 1.45. He’s been creeping up the handicap but he has been very progressive. He ran well at Ascot on his latest start where he finished second, beaten by less than a length over this trip so he goes into this with a big chance,” Spencer commented.

“In the Great Voltigeur at 3.05, I am on board Balios for David Simcock. It is a St Leger Trial so a lot of these horses are using this as a stepping stone towards Doncaster for the final Classic of the season. I didn’t think he ran his race last time out at Longchamp for whatever reason that might be. The slow pace did not help but either way, he is better than that and he hopefully he can show it at a galloping track which suits him,” he added.