Friday 20 October 2017

Comer back before Turf Club over yard inspection

Anseanachai Cliste was found to have cobalt, a prohibited substance, above the permitted threshold in a urine sample taken before he was due to run in the Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham festival this year.
Anseanachai Cliste was found to have cobalt, a prohibited substance, above the permitted threshold in a urine sample taken before he was due to run in the Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham festival this year.

Johnny Ward

The Turf Club's Referrals Committee meets this morning to consider whether or not trainer Luke Comer is in breach of any rules as a result of inspections carried out at his training establishment.

The Co Galway-born but Monaco-based property developer is said to have built a £2.5 billion property empire between the UK and Germany over 30 years with his brother Brian.

A series of inspections to his two yards conducted by the Turf Club raised concerns about standards of care. Comer earlier this month was fined €10,000 and ordered to pay costs of €4,000 for refusing Turf Club officials permission to inspect his stables at Kilternan, Co Dublin, on March 22.

His yard was inspected again since, out of which today's gathering - which is expected to be very well-attended by legal personnel - arose.

Comer has proven a controversial figure, sending a horse rated just 52 when retired, Chimes At Midnight, to stud in recent years. He has not trained a winner since 2011 but is understood to have hugely ambitious plans.

Eminent, meanwhile, looks sure to go down the stud route too after he ran out a hugely impressive winner of the bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket yesterday for trainer Martyn Meade.

Winner of his only start at two, the Frankel colt was sent off at 8/1 in a strong-looking trial and was going away at the finish under Jim Crowley. The Aidan O'Brien-trained War Decree flopped back in sixth.

Meade said: "I'm thrilled, it's so nice when they back you up. I've had to show a little bit of caution, but he's shown everything there that we've asked him to do. Now what have we on our hands?"

Eminent is around 10/1 for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, the betting for which the Aidan O'Brien-trained Churchill dominates still.

His stablemate Alluringly (9/4) ran out an impressive winner of the Tipperary Races Fillies Maiden on her return from a 186-day break and is to go for an Oaks trial next.

George Baker, left with bleeding on the brain after a fall at St Moritz in February, has left hospital to continue his recovery at a rehabilitation centre.

TG4 will screen a 30-minute preview of the Punchestown Festival tomorrow at 7.15pm with a repeat on Monday at 7.30pm. However, there is no place at the festival for long-time ante-post favourite for the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham, The Storyteller, which trainer Gordon Elliott says remains sidelined.

Elsewhere, English-based jump jockey Paul Moloney has decided to hang up his boots after a 20-year riding career and 843 winners and is returning to his native land, where he plans to build a breeding operation on his Tipperary farm.

Meanwhile, the legendary Brian Cody will present the trophies at the 2017 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards at the Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny on Tuesday, May 9.

"I'm acutely aware of how important backroom staff is to all areas of sport and business," said the legendary Cats hurling boss.

Irish Independent

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