Sport Horse Racing

Wednesday 28 June 2017

O'Brien to appeal 'bizarre' Dundalk ban

Trainer Aidan O'Brien was fined after was fined after Music Box's run at Dundalk. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Trainer Aidan O'Brien was fined after was fined after Music Box's run at Dundalk. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

Aidan O'Brien says it is "probable" that the controversial Music Box suspension imposed on Friday night will be appealed.

The filly, a 14/1 chance ridden by Wayne Lordan, found her way into controversy in Dundalk's second race, won by a stablemate Asking, which was sent off 6/4 favourite.

Lordan, who has recently joined Ballydoyle, neglected to use the whip, found traffic and missed out on second place by a short head. O'Brien was not present for interview but Lordan's defence did not convince the stewards, after whose deliberation O'Brien was fined €2,000, Lordan banned for five days and the horse 42.

The Turf Club's revised Rule 212 (A) (ii) states that a jockey who "cannot be seen to have been the subject of a genuine attempt to obtain from the horse timely, real and substantial efforts to achieve the best possible place shall be guilty".

Lordan got punished as part of this. That the vet stated that Music Box had given a couple of coughs and had a slight nasal discharge was deemed irrelevant.

O'Brien initially described the ban as bizarre and is nearly certain to appeal it to the Turf Club's referrals committee.

In a poll conducted on Twitter, 47pc said they disagreed with the stewards' decision, 37pc agreed and 16pc were not sure.

This is the latest suspension to be handed out under Rule 212, which was revised in January. Seamus Heffernan, Rachael Blackmore and Andrew Lynch are among the riders to have been given five-day bans and none made a successful appeal.

Meanwhile, Gigginstown chief Michael O'Leary says that he is keen to have horses with Willie Mullins again, assuming the champion trainer drops his training fees. The pair severed ties last year. Speaking on Newstalk's Yates on Sunday, the Ryanair boss said: "He's a brilliant trainer but he decided to put up his fees by 10pc last year. He was the only trainer putting up his fees.

"That was the sole issue. I'd have horses with Willie next week as long as we could reach an agreement on training fees but I don't expect us to reach an agreement on training fees.

"Either Willie backs down or I back down and I don't see either of us being an individual who backs down.

"I would be back there in a heartbeat as long as we could reach an agreement on fees."

Irish Independent

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