Wednesday 13 December 2017

Awards to Dundalk bookies reversed at Court of Appeal

The court dismissed the racecourse’s appeal against the failure to award damages over the unlawful boycott. (Stock picture)
The court dismissed the racecourse’s appeal against the failure to award damages over the unlawful boycott. (Stock picture)

Johnny Ward

Awards to three bookies arising from a dispute over the loss of betting-ring pitches at Dundalk were yesterday overturned at the Court of Appeal.

The High Court awarded €48,376 to Patrick O'Hare, €41,484 to John Hughes and €23,929 to Francis Hyland in 2015. This was successfully appealed by Dundalk racecourse.

The layers had brought test cases on behalf of around 30 bookies who sued Dundalk for breach of contract as they claimed they should not have been asked to pay €8,000 when the new all-weather track opened on the premise they were already holders of established pitches at the old track.

The court dismissed the racecourse's appeal against the failure to award damages over the unlawful boycott. Dundalk claimed the boycott reduced the number of customers by roughly 100 and led to a gross loss of €408,000 up to February 2014. It also dismissed a cross-appeal by O'Hare over the High Court's refusal to grant him an injunction directing Dundalk to allocate him the pitch he was entitled to in 2007 in accordance with seniority under pitch rules.

Meanwhile, Brametot will attempt a Guineas and Derby double when he lines up in the Qipco Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly on Sunday.

Rivalry

He won the French 2,000 Guineas three weeks ago and will renew rivalry with Rivet, third that day. Ryan Moore will ride Aidan O'Brien's War Decree, with Taj Mahal (Donnacha O'Brien) and Orderofthegarter (Seamie Heffernan) also running for Ballydoyle.

Churchill and Minding head the list of entries for the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown but the home team could face a tough international challenge with last year's winner Almanzor, Ribchester and Japan's Horse of the Year, Kitasan Black, among the entries.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) yesterday intervened after the equine herpes virus EHV-1 was confirmed by preventing any further runners from the Kevin Ryan stable for now.

The yard of Ryan, a native of Golden, Co Tipperary, has been put under temporary quarantine likely to last weeks. The yards of Bryan Smart and Michael Herrington, neighbours of Ryan near Thirsk, have also been put under quarantine as a precaution.

Top-class chaser Well Chief, trained by Martin Pipe, has died at the age of 18 after suffering a bout of colic.

Kevin Sexton, who recently returned to riding after a drugs ban, faces another spell off after breaking his hand at Ballinrobe on Tuesday. Bryan Cooper, also injured, is set to return this weekend.

Irish Independent

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