France Galop boss admits unease over Christophe Soumillon’s situation

France Galop CEO Olivier Delloye admitted his unease as Christophe Soumillon returned to the saddle at ParisLongchamp on Saturday, just 24 hours after suffering a sizeable suspension at Saint-Cloud.

Soumillon has been banned for 60 days after stewards found him guilty of dangerous driving aboard Syros in the Prix Thomas Bryon Jockey Club de Turquie on Friday.

Just before the field turned home in the mile affair, Soumillon moved towards Rossa Ryan on Ralph Beckett’s captain Wierzba before appearing to elbow his fellow rider, with Ryan dismounting from his horse after the contact.

Soumillon will be suspended from October 14 to December 12 but is available for the autumn highlight of ParisLongchamp, where Sunday’s leading Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe contender Vadeni is among his mounts.

Delloye believes the situation is far from perfect and said: “I’m very uncomfortable with what happened.

“Regarding the rules and any changes, we have to research very thoroughly and it has to take a little time.

“We are not here to invent new rules, but to apply the existing ones.

“The current rules are as good as we can make them, but this shouldn’t happen in racing. Something like this really shouldn’t happen.

“To make changes it would take an objection from someone in England, like the jockey for example.”

I’m not talking about it anymore, I’ve said what I have to say

Soumillon issued a public apology after the incident, insisting he had not tried to drop Ryan off and after finishing third aboard Duke De Sessa in the first race at the track on Saturday.

He said, “I’m not talking about it anymore, I’ve said what I have to say.”

Ryan was back in action at Ascot on Saturday and admitted he was relieved to avoid injury in the autumn.

He said before the race: “I’m fine. I was a little stiff this morning, but thank God I’m fine. I just passed the doctor.

“Look, something happened that probably shouldn’t happen in racing, but the main thing is I’m 100 per cent in it and the horse I’ve been riding is fine and everyone’s fine so it’s in of the past and I just gotta keep going and keep moving forward.

“It was one of those things that happened and I don’t know what was going through Christophe’s mind. He then apologized. The media will have a lot to say about it.

“It was the first fall where I sort of strayed from thinking that I was very lucky with the way I landed. I was very lucky but I live to fight another day but there was someone who looked down on me and cared for me.

“It’s something that all jurisdictions have to deal with, but I’ve just been lucky – and that’s the biggest thing.

“Whatever happened, that’s fine, but I was just relieved and happy that I could get up and walk away from it.”

It was one of those things that happened and I don’t know what went through Christophe’s mind

Ryan added: “My dad is a paramedic and trains a few on the side. He wasn’t particularly happy about it, and neither were my uncles. Whatever about the nudge, it was just the smack I got on the floor. It was just a field of six starters and I honestly don’t want to get into that too much.

“I’m just happy to be able to ride again on Saturday and have a nice set of rides.”

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