London – Jim Crowley has alleged he was the victim of an unprovoked attack from Raul da Silva “with what felt like a piece of lead” at Goodwood on Sunday, a claim vigorously denied by his fellow jockey.
Da Silva was banned for 21 days, the maximum recommended sentence for violent conduct, following an altercation in the Goodwood changing room that left Crowley requiring stitches in a cut and swollen lip.
In a statement, Crowley said: “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.”
On Sunday Da Silva claimed that after Race 1 Crowley had been aggressive in telling him he was a “danger on the track” and that he had been trying to defend himself from the 2016 champion jockey.
Adding to the claim on Monday, the Brazilian rider said the jockeys in the weighing room had sided with Crowley and said: “Because they’re all his friends and he’s the star – the champion jockey – and me, I’m no-one, which is why no-one’s going to believe me, because I’m no-one.”
He also insisted: “I didn’t have nothing in my hand when I hit him.”
The BHA’s Robin Mounsey said: “The stewards held an inquiry into the incident and interviewed several witnesses including valets, officials, medical officers and other jockeys.
“The stewards’ decision was to suspend Raul da Silva for violent conduct for 21 days based on the evidence that he struck Jim Crowley in the face, causing an injury which required medical attention.
“However, the stewards also stated that they – or the BHA’s head office – reserve the right to revisit the incident, if appropriate.” – racingpost.com