GBI RACING

Jim Crowley denies being the aggressor in Goodwood altercation with Raul da Silva

Jim Crowley

Jim Crowley has claimed he was “the victim of an unprovoked attack from behind” after he was struck in the face by Raul da Silva at Goodwood on Sunday.

Da Silva was suspended for 21 days for violent conduct after the two riders were involved in an altercation after the first race of the day.

In a statement issued to Press Association Sport, the 2016 champion jockey alleged he was struck “with what felt like a piece of lead” after a “number of jockeys” questioned Da Silva’s riding technique.

Da Silva told the Racing Post on Sunday that “Jim came up to me and was aggressive”, but Crowley, who required medical treatment in hospital for facial injuries, said that was “categorically untrue”.

He said in a statement: “There was a minor disagreement over a race-riding incident with a number of jockeys not happy with Raul’s riding.

“After this, I was the victim of an unprovoked attack from behind with what felt like a piece of lead, and it is disappointing that I have then been accused of being the aggressor.

“This is categorically untrue and it is notable that after a lengthy inquiry that heard from many witnesses, only one of us was suspended.

“I have no further comment to make and will leave the matter in the hands of the BHA (British Horseracing Authority).”

Da Silva and Crowley rode in the opening seven-furlong handicap at Goodwood, in which the former finished last aboard Medieval. Crowley came home fifth of the nine runners on Charles Molson.

Crowley continued riding at Goodwood and was also in action at Brighton on Monday.

Da Silva had been due to ride Voltaic at Windsor on Monday, but he was substituted for Rab Havlin earlier in the day.

Twenty-one days is the British Horseracing Authority’s maximum recommended suspension for violent conduct, but racing’s rulers said on Monday that it has “the ability to reopen such cases, if it is felt necessary”.

A statement issued by the BHA read: “Before assessing whether such action is required the BHA would first review the stewards’ inquiry recordings and hold conversations with any appropriate individuals.

“The BHA will now carry out these procedures before determining how to proceed.”

Da Silva’s agent Gareth Owen refused to comment on behalf of his client when contacted by Press Association Sport on Monday.

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