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Persian Punch showed his typical bravery to win the Bonusprint Stakes (registered as the Henry II Stakes) for the third time at Sandown today.

But it was victory at a price for jockey Philip Robinson.

Robinson, fresh from winning Sunday's Entenmann's Irish 1000 guineas, picked up a whip ban which will rule him out of a possible mount in the Vodafone Oaks at Epsom on June 9th.

The jockey, partnering Persian Punch for the first time, was found to have marked the seven-year-old when hitting him above the stifle, and the stewards suspended him from June 7th to 9th inclusive.

The veterinary officer noticed weal marks when the horse was taken for a routine post-race dope test and Persian Punch's trainer David Elsworth was fined £260 for not informing Robinson that the gelding marked easily.

Robinson, who said he was unsure as to whether he would have had a mount in the fillies' Classic, had few complaints.

However he felt he was given little choice but to hit Persian Punch where he had while locked in a battle in the closing stages with John Reid's mount Churlish Charm.

He said: "I was tight for room with the other horse up against me and it just stopped my whip action.

"Rather than carrying on swinging it, which would have been ok, I've come up short because otherwise I'd have hit John Reid. It's one of those things.

"In this sort of ground you've got to keep riding right to the line. If you stop riding for a stride in this they'll stop quickly."

Elsworth said that it was three years ago that a jockey was last cited for marking Persian Punch and that the horse's name was no longer on the list of those that marked easily.

He said: "I'd actually forgotten. I was more concerned about the tactics involved. But as the rules are it seems I should have reminded Philip but it's a bit difficult to remind people when you've forgotten yourself."

Elsworth is satisfied that no harm came to Persian Punch and he said: "He is a long horse and Philip did not have a lot of room with his right hand.

"I don't suppose the whip action hurt him any more than something that's got a hide like a rhinoceros.

"I don't mind being reprimanded but it's farcical. I've been in the business long enough and I'm cynical enough to take it on the chin, but it still irritates me. It's just as well I'm in a good mood."

Elsworth had been delighted to see Persian Punch put a rare poor run at York behind him in the Group Three contest. Making every yard of the running, Persian Punch bravely shrugged off the challenge of Churlish Charm and scored by half a length.

Jeff Smith's gelding will now be handed a fourth chance to win the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, a race in which he has previously disappointed.

Elsworth said: "It definitely spoils my Ascot but I suppose he'll run.

"I asked Philip what he thought about the Gold Cup and he said he'd stay forever, yet it just doesn't seem to happen.

"You just don't know with this horse. If you ran him in the Gold Cup and he put in his best shot then theoretically he should stay and he hasn't."

Persian Punch finished third in the Melbourne Cup in 1998 and another visit "Down Under" is a possibility, Elsworth adding: "We could go to Melbourne if I could talk Jeff into it."

Vodafone Derby favourite King's Best stayed at Sandown following his morning canter round the track and appeared in the parade ring while Persian Punch was making the best of his way home.

A few racegoers caught a view of the Sagitta 2000 guineas winner, who they would have seen at closer quarters than the victory of Perryston View, who made all the running up the sprint track to win the Tripleprint Temple Stakes and give trainer Jeremy Glover his second win in the race in four runnings.

Glover, speaking at Redcar, explained: "I won this race a couple of years ago with Croft Pool but this horse would leave him for dead.

"I left the blinkers off because of the heavy going today.

"I didn't want him to go off too fast.

"They said I couldn't win a Group race with an eight-year-old but I knew he was good enough and I suppose he will go for the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot."

The Group Two contest also marked the biggest success of the season for jockey John Reid who said: "I haven't had a sniff in a Group Race all year. All winners are sweet but this one being worth 30 grand makes it all the sweeter."

Swallow Flight defied top weight under Michael Roberts to beat Jo Mell by a head in the Doubleprint Rated Stakes.

The one mile contest could mark the four-year-old's final appearance in a handicap and trainer Geoff Wragg said: "I suppose he'd go up a couple more pounds for that, so that could be it as far as handicaps are concerned.

"He is in the Hunt Cup at Ascot, and I've also got him in the Queen Anne and he's also in a race at Dortmund."

Elsworth had initiated a 28-1 double when apprentice Jamie Mackay partnered La Speziana to a 10-length victory in the Bonusphoto Fillies' Handicap.

Frankie Dettori missed his ride on Chiquita in the Doubleprint Stakes after complaining of feeling unwell.

He is expected to be fit to ride tomorrow.

Michael Roberts completed a near 21-1 double when Pas De Probleme landed the Tripleprint Stakes, in which apprentice Pat Dobbs escaped uninjured having been unseated Coughlan's Gift on leaving the back straight.