El-Issa Ban Cut To Just 18 Months

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In a decision sure to spark outrage in some circles Bobby El-Issa will be back in the saddle in by the end of 2012.

El-Issa was suspended for two years earlier in the year after he was found to have held back Bold Glance deliberately during an event at Eagle Farm.

He launched an appeal to the Queensland Civil And Administrative Tribunal and had his ban successfully reduced by six months.

The race took place in February however El-Issa wasn’t suspended until the first of April this year.

The initial charge from Racing Queensland said El-Issa had not allowed Bold Glance to run on its merits before he eventually finished second to Essington.

The exact wording of the charge in the stewards report was that El-Issa “had deliberately and consciously ridden to deprive Bold Glance of a real and legitimate chance of winning the race”.

There was a mountain of evidence showing highly suspicious activity from professional punter Steve Fletcher on El-Issa’s rides all day.

Papers showed all his bets were on either El-Issa’s horses to lose, or his rivals to win.

Fletcher won on all of them and collected a huge volume of money after El-Issa didn’t ride a winner all day.

Fletcher received a 12 month disqualification for betting with inside knowledge and his appeal against the decision was adjourned until today’s result was known.

It’s not the first time El-Issa has been dealt with by the stewards and many sections of the industry were calling for him to be banned for life.

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