O'Brien jnr wins ban appeal
Published 02/12/2010 | 05:00
Joseph O'Brien's bid to win the Irish apprentices' title is back on track after his successful appeal against a two-day whip ban yesterday.
Following a hearing of the Turf Club's Appeals And Referrals Committee, O'Brien overturned the decision of the stewards at Dundalk last month.
The race in question saw O'Brien's mount Mr Pianist win in a photo-finish. The stewards found O'Brien had used his whip with excessive frequency but that decision was overturned at the hearing in front of a three-person panel.
Video evidence showed the Eddie Harty-trained winner had been hit 13 times in the straight but, in his defence, O'Brien pointed out that the horse had no markings and he had given the horse time to respond.
The apprentice was accompanied at the Turf Club by his father Aidan, and represented in the appeal by solicitor Andrew Coonan.
O'Brien Jnr has ridden 35 winners this season and is just two behind joint leaders Ben Curtis and reigning champion Gary Carroll in the apprentice championship.