Top jockey Irad Ortiz Jr hit with rare 30-day ban after ‘most dangerous’ mid-race move ever

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Top jockey Irad Ortiz Jr was slapped with a rare 30-day ban for what punters dubbed the ‘most dangerous’ mid-race move.

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The leading American rider, who won more than £22 million on the track alone this year, drew widespread criticism for his strategy on Gran Kasik.

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Ortiz Jr. trying to get on the inside running rail to get the best place in the race
But he kept going and collided with his young novice rival, forcing him to fall spectacularly from his mountain

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But he kept going and collided with his young novice rival, forcing him to fall spectacularly from his mountain
Ortiz Jr continues to race after a dangerous move forced his fellow jockey to fall

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Ortiz Jr continues to race after a dangerous move forced his fellow jockey to fall

Incredibly, the carnage didn’t happen at the end of the race, with everyone trying to win, but quickly as riders fought for position.

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Ortiz Jr. took off from the stall on Gran Kasik, a 15-8 favorite, last Friday.

But embracing the rails inside and in prime position was apprentice jockey Omar Hernandez Moreno on 7-1 Ragtime Blues.

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It was difficult to detect Ortiz Jr.’s wicked move at first glance, as the cameras that followed the horses were located on the side of the track.

It initially looked like 7lb contender Moreno was sent flying off his horse when the colt lost his leg.

But the head-on footage was hurtful to Ortiz Jr., as it clearly showed him moving with ‘reckless abandon’ across the track and colliding with his opponent.

As a result of the collision the young novice jockey collided with the rail and was sent injured on the track.

Ortiz Jr. went ahead and came second in the race – until the stewards disqualified him and placed him in last place.

Jockeys typically receive a five- or seven-day ban after being found guilty of reckless riding.

But Ortiz Jr.’s actions were so serious that he was given a rare 30-day suspension.

‘Can’t believe my eyes’

Punters were all set for the jockey’s antics—who was banned earlier this year for punching an opponent three times in a post-race meltdown.

One said: “I’ve never seen a ride more reckless, reckless, selfish and dangerous… EVER.”

Another commented: “One of the most dangerous acts I’ve ever seen in horse racing.”

A fellow racing fan wrote: “Honestly WTF, this is untrue!”

One comment read: “I had to watch this five times…..I still can’t believe my eyes.”

A fellow Twitter user posted: “There is nothing worse than this.”

While another wrote: “This is a very rough and dangerous ride.”

A New York Racing Association boss said on Twitter: “Aggressive riding is one thing but constantly riding over the edge, and sometimes crossing it, is another.

miraculous protection from injury

“Intent Ortiz is a great rider but he needs to consider his strategy going forward.”

It was a small miracle that Moreno and his mount survived the incident without injury.

Ortiz Jr., who survived two more stewards interrogation after a victory at Aqueduct Racecourse in New York, USA, does not plan to appeal against his ban.

The last time a jockey in the US is believed to have received a 30-day ban was in 2019, when Paco Lopez was collared by chiefs for his role in a two-horse crash that injured two riders at Gulfstream Park Were.

Ortiz Jr. knows what it’s like to be the victim of a terrible fall.

Last June she was crushed and kicked in the head by a horse ridden by her brother Jose.

Ortiz Jr. had stitches to his head and arm following the incident, which also resulted in his being removed from book rides, losing his winnings of around £1.1 million.

Ortiz Jr. is one of the most famous jockeys in the world, but his tactics have been widely criticized.

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Ortiz Jr. is one of the most famous jockeys in the world, but his tactics have been widely criticized.credit: AP: Associated Press

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