Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 19 August 2017

'Very serious rule breaches' threaten Luke Comer yard

Comer was found to have failed to exercise adequate supervision over his yard. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / Sportsfile
Comer was found to have failed to exercise adequate supervision over his yard. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

Multi-millionaire developer and trainer Luke Comer remains suspended until the end of the month after the Turf Club's referrals committee met yesterday and found him guilty of "very serious rule breaches".

In April, Comer got a suspended six-month ban after he refused permission for officials to inspect his stables. Comer is in danger of having his licence withdrawn if he cannot satisfy the Turf Club before the end of the month that his training operation can be put "on a proper footing". The referral arose from inspections carried out at Comer's yard in May and June. It debated whether or not Comer was had given misleading, false information about the location of three horses during the inspection on May 24 by his authorised representatives.

Comer - who is frequently out of the country - was found to have failed to exercise adequate supervision over his yard. Riders were not wearing body protectors riding out, his medicine register was not up to the standard and two staff members were not registered.

Yesterday Comer was found in breach of all the rules specified and the referrals committee "found that these were major rule breaches" and "very serious".

It adjourned the decision on his penalty to assess "whether the operation can be put on a proper footing".

It was also noted that Comer had recently employed Jim Gorman as a trainer and "prior to determining the penalty for these breaches, felt it appropriate to give Gorman an opportunity to address matters operationally".

Yanworth, meanwhile, returned a positive drug test after finishing seventh in this year's Champion Hurdle in March, it has emerged. His sample showed traces of medication, which had not cleared his system on the day of the race. The British Horseracing Authority yesterday confirmed trainer Alan King's hearing with the Disciplinary Committee is tomorrow.

Michael Halford hopes Rehana can put her Irish Guineas disappointment behind her in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse today. "She's coming back to seven furlongs on a turning track and I think that will suit her much better," he said.

Trainer Olly Murphy had a winner with his first runner when Dove Mountain scored yesterday at Brighton.

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