Tuesday 20 August 2019

Apprentice Kelly gets one-year ban for failing drug test

Barry Geraghty
Barry Geraghty

Richard Forristal

Barry Geraghty has been successful in his appeal against the two-day riding ban that he received for not obtaining the best possible position on Fever Pitch at Clonmel last month.

If that proved to be a positive visit to the Turf Club's headquarters at the Curragh, Tuesday's sittings were less so for the three other attendees. The appeal by owners Alan and Ann Potts against the Naas stewards' decision not to promote Sizing Granite ahead of Devils Bride after suffering interference en route to a narrow defeat in the Poplar Chase was dismissed.

Trainer Adrian Joyce saw Rock On Rosie stripped of its win at Kilbeggan in August after testing positive for a prohibited substance, while Shane Kelly, who is apprenticed to Michael O'Callaghan on the Curragh, has been handed a two-year ban - one of which is to be suspended - after testing positive for metabolites of cocaine. Kelly's positive test emerged as a result of a random test at Leopardstown in August.

He hasn't ridden since September and a tally of four wins this year has constituted his worst season since he first got going in England in 2010, before returning home in 2013. The referrals committee waived the issue of costs against Kelly for "the manner in which he met the case", but a year's suspension will be a hammer-blow to his career prospects.

Joyce was also spared a fine. Rock On Rosie tested positive for Salbutamol, which is banned on race-day but is an authorised medication for horses with respiratory problems. There is a minimum detection period of 72 hours.

Joyce's medicines record confirmed that it had been administered 85 hours prior to the race, but he accepted that, despite heeding the advice of his vet, he had not allowed a sufficient withdrawal period.

Geraghty had received his ban after the Clonmel stewards found that he should have finished fourth rather than fifth on JP McManus's Fever Pitch. However, with the benefit of "camera angles not referenced at the original enquiry", the referrals committee opted to reverse the decision, which had also seen the rider ordered to forfeit his riding fee.

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