Coleman leaps to Powell's defence
Aidan Coleman has leapt to the defence of Brendan Powell junior following the rider's mistake at Fakenham earlier this week.
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The jockey was hit with a 14-day ban after Benny The Swinger took the wrong course in the Fakenham, Diana And Tony's Favourite Racecourse Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Chase when sure to win.
Powell's mount jumped the final fence with a clear advantage, but rather than go to the left of the fence almost alongside the winning post, the seven-year-old went to the right and jumped the obstacle.
Writing in his exclusive blog at www.racinguk.com Coleman said: "I have known Brendan for a few years now, as I've ridden for his father a good few times, and he is one of the nicest lads you will ever meet.
"He's made an embarrassing mistake and held his hands up and the lads said he was absolutely devastated in the weighing room afterwards. You have to remember he is only 17. I was still at school at that age, yet he is out there in the spotlight, which can be rewarding but also very unforgiving.
"I haven't spoken to him since, but I sent him a couple of texts and can assure him this won't have any negative effect on his career in the long run. He is a very talented rider and has a big future."
Coleman feels the racecourse needed to accept more of the responsibility over Tuesday's incident.
"What I was also really disappointed about was that Fakenham took no hint of the blame. All they needed to do was put a piece of white tape up or some cones and that's the problem solved. End of," he added.
"Other tracks do the same, so why haven't Fakenham? I've got nothing against the track - well apart from that it's a nightmare to get to, but that's not their fault - it's always good ground and decent enough prize-money, but they've fallen down on this.
"I'm not excusing Brendan, but surely the racecourses should do everything they can to make it as easy as possible for the jockeys?"