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Owner finds his 'dead' horse is ready to race again

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Stock photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Stock photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Stock photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

A man thought a broken down racehorse his company owned had been put down a year ago but opened a newspaper to find it was entered to run at Naas racecourse today, the High Court heard.

Andrew Hughes, manager of Thistle Bloodstock Ltd, was granted an temporary injunction yesterday preventing the horse, The Tartan Spartan, from running in the 3.22pm Hurdle Handicap.

The injunction is against the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) and trainers Philip Fenton and Jim Derwin.

The injunction was granted by Mr Justice Mark Heslin on Friday following a one-side only represented application from William Reidy BL, for Thistle Bloodstock.

Mr Reidy said Mr Hughes, in an affidavit, said he gave the animal to Mr Derwin about 12 months ago to euthanise it after it had broken down.

Ownership had never changed and Mr Hughes still had the horse's passport, he said.

Mr Reidy said Mr Hughes assumed it had been euthanised because it had been deemed "beyond repair".

Mr Hughes "picked up the paper this morning to find it listing to race tomorrow", counsel said.

There was correspondence with the defendants saying legal action would be brought if no word was received back to say the horse would not run in the race.

While the IHRB, formerly the Turf Club, said it could not prevent it racing without a court order, there was no response from the other two defendants, the court heard.

Mr Justice Heslin granted the interim injunction as he was satisfied there was a fair question to be tried, damages would not be adequate compensation for Thistle if it was not granted and that the balance of convenience favoured the granting of the order.

He said the case could come back next week.

Irish Independent