An 18-month ban is likely to signal the end of Dean Gallagher’s career in the saddle

Dean Gallagher, the troubled jockey, has been suspended for 18 months by the Jockey Club after testing positive to cocaine for a second time.

Gallagher was given a six-month ban in 2000 for a similar offence, but returned to win the Champion Hurdle on Hors La Loi 111 at Cheltenham in March.

He emerged from theJockey Club Disciplinary inquiry at Portman Square on Thursday to say that this latest punishment is “highly likely” to end his career in the saddle.

He was tested at Newton Abbot on 4 September and his sample was found to contain a diagnostic metabolite of the drug cocaine. He can re-apply for his jockey’s licence in May 2004.

Gallagher, 33, said: “I can’t change the things that can’t be changed, but I can change the things that can.

Today is the first dayof my new life and I don’t intend to lie down as I’ve worked hard to achieve my dreams through periods of adversity.”

He added that he intends to stay in racing. “It is a sport I respect so much,” he said.

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