Jenny Duggan's title bid in doubt

RACING

Highly rated rider Jenny Duggan has received a setback in her bid to win the Sydney apprentices' title after being suspended for her handling of Lady Lonhro during a Kembla Grange race on October 13.

The mature-age apprentice fronted Racing NSW stewards in Sydney yesterday and was banned for one month for not giving the Tara Laine-trained mare every reasonable and permissible chance in the race.

Lady Lonhro finished sixth as the $3.30 favourite in the Benchmark 60 Handicap (2000m), more than three lengths astern of the winner Ready Me Fein.

The charges levelled against Duggan pertained to her inability to position Lady Lonhro to the outside of Kukri and Flying Distraction from the top of the straight when tightened for room.

Stewards argued Duggan's inability to switch her mount to the outside before the 200-metre mark meant Lady Lonhro raced in restricted room between Kukri and Fair Nation and on the back of Speed Queen over the concluding stages.

Following a careless riding ban issued against her at Rosehill last weekend, Duggan's one-month suspension won't see her return to the saddle until January 6.

She will be free to fulfil bookings at Gosford (today) and Wyong (tomorrow).

Duggan's star has continued to rise since making the switch from the amateur to professional ranks earlier this year.

Apprenticed to brother-in-law Adam Duggan at Gosford, Jenny won the Newcastle apprentice title last season despite riding at the track for just four months.

The 34-year-old has since rocketed to the top of the current metropolitan apprentice standings, racking up 10 wins from just 47 rides. She is two wins ahead of Sam Clipperton and has the best strike rate of any of the top 20 jockeys at city meetings.

Duggan's gunning to become the first female to win the coveted apprentice crown since Kathy O'Hara in 2004-05. Her latest winner came aboard Tamworth-based 10-year-old Ollie Vollie at Rosehill on Saturday.

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