Top jockey Richard Hills has been banned from riding for 21 days and will miss the season’s first two classics, the 2000 and 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on 3-4 May.

Hills, who is retained by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, one of the world’s biggest owners, would have been aboard Greenham Stakes winner Muqbil in the 2000 and the strongly fancied Khulood in the 1000.

He will also miss the big spring meetings at Chester and York.

Hills was suspended on Tuesday (22 April) at Newcastle where he was deemed to have failed to ride out his mount Buthaina after dead-heating for firstplace in a maiden race.

The jockey pleaded that he was just coming up out of the “drive” position a couple of strides before the line and did not ease his mount.

He can be expected to appeal against a penalty, which, on the face of it, looks pretty stiff for such a crime. His suspension runs from 1-10 May and from 12-22 May inclusive.