October 2020

Nathan Moscrop

Conditional jockey Nathan Moscrop made headlines in July, 2020, when handed a ten-day suspension for ‘winning’ the ‘9 Lives Challenge Novices’ Handicap Chase’ at Perth on Im Too Generous, a ten-year-old gelding trained by Rebecca Menzies. In a highly eventful race, Im Too Generous was left alone when his sole remaining rival, Court Dreaming, unseated rider at the third-last fence. At that point, Moscrop looked around and, seeing only loose horses in pursuit, steadied his mount to safely negotiate the final two obstacles. He did so, but having jumped the final fence Im Too Generous appeared to go lame in his left foreleg, a fact that was confirmed by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) Veterinary Officer after the race.

Indeed, video footage of the incident clearly shows Moscrop glancing down, albeit briefly, after jumping the final fence, before looking around again and continuing to the finish line. Having interviewed Moscrop, the Veterinary Officer and the Veterinary Surgeon and reviewed the footage, the stewards ruled that, despite having the race at his mercy, Moscrop should, in fact, have pulled up and dismounted Im Too Generous on the run-in.

Part-owner John Dance argued that a ten-day suspension was ‘harsh’, particularly in light of the fact that Moscrop had been instrumental in the rehabilitation of Im Too Generous, on and off the racecourse, after an absence of 1,423 days. However, while Moscrop is still entitled to claim a 3lb weight allowance when riding against professionals, the conditional jockey has ridden 44 winners under National Hunt Rules, in a riding career stretching back to 2006/07. He is hardly ‘wet behind the ears’ and must surely have realised that by continuing on Im Too Generous, who was effectively running on three legs at the finish, he would incur the wrath of the stewards.