Tuesday 6 December 2016

Ruby Walsh questions interference rules following Tingle Creek inquiry

Published 08/12/2015 | 19:41

Sire De Grugy winning the Tingle Creek
Sire De Grugy winning the Tingle Creek

Ruby Walsh has questioned the interference rules following the controversial finish to last Saturday's Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.

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Sire De Grugy was first past the post in the Grade One feature but had to survive a stewards' inquiry after jumping left at the final fence and colliding with runner-up Special Tiara.

The stewards opted to leave the result unchanged and while Walsh feels connections of Special Tiara are unlikely to win their case should they appeal, he is not convinced the current rules are right.

He told his Racing UK column: "The interference at the last will cause plenty of debate. As the rules are written, I didn't think the stewards would change the result. The stewards have applied the rules correctly.

"Are the rules written correctly, though? I'm not sure. I don't think rules in any sport should favour the offender rather than the victim and our rules certainly favour the offender in all cases at the moment.

"I see that the Special Tiara team are considering an appeal. I think that will be fruitless.

"All any steward can do is apply the rules as they are written but there is a line in the interference rules that tries to make the stewards play god, and they can't do that.

"Nobody can be absolutely certain that the winner would have won anyway. It is almost impossible to change the result and that is not right.

"If there was no way you could be sent off in a football match, or give away a penalty, you would transgress the rules.

"I think it is open for serious debate.

"That's the thing with interference and rules - there will always be a difference in opinion."

Press Association

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