The next few days are massive for Denis Hogan as stable star Sceptical heads to Newmarket for Saturday's July Cup but the Tipperary trainer started them on a sour note after his appeal against a €3,000 fine under the 'non-trier' rule was dismissed.
The rule breach pertained to the running and riding of 50/1 shot Narynkol, which was a fast-finishing fourth under Alan Glynn in the Apprentice Derby on Irish Derby weekend at the Curragh last month.
Hogan was fined €3,000 with Narynkol suspended for 50 days and his inexperienced rider handed an eight-day ban (reduced from 12-day originally) under rule 212, which covers horses failing to obtain the best possible position.
Hogan appealed to the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) Appeals Body earlier this week at the Curragh on the grounds that Glynn was instructed "to use his best endeavours and to obtain the best possible place including winning the race if at all possible".
Hogan stated that rookie jockey Glynn "lacks the experience and the strength of some of the other apprentices who rode in this race and this is mainly down to a lack of regular race-riding experience".
With his regular apprentice Joey Sheridan engaged to ride Willie Mullins' unplaced favourite Foveros in the same contest on June 26, Hogan reasoned that he was being fined €3,000 "for giving Glynn an opportunity in an apprentice race".
Hogan's appeal was dismissed by the IHRB's Appeals Body with the €3,000 fine imposed - he was also ordered to forfeit his deposit - while Narynkol's 50-day ban was upheld.
The panel reduced Glynn's sanction from 12 to eight days on the basis of evidence for a medical condition - unavailable to the Curragh stewards on race day - which he presented.
Hogan will hope that his spirits are lifted at British racing's HQ this weekend as Ireland's top-rated sprinter Sceptical bids to land his first Group One success under Frankie Dettori.
Elsewhere, Donnacha O'Brien got his training career off to a flyer in France last Sunday when Fancy Blue claimed a first top-flight victory for the 21-year-old in the French Oaks.
O'Brien, on the mark again when Southern Cape (1/4 favourite) took the opening maiden at Gowran Park yesterday, has earmarked the Nassau Stakes for his stable star.
"Fancy Blue has come out of her race well. We're still not sure where she will go next but the Nassau at Goodwood is a strong possibility at the minute," O'Brien said.