Tuesday 16 January 2018

Dunphy insists she has 'nothing to hide'

Turf club's probe into Ballinrobe incident could take a few weeks

Fabian Burke who acted as groom
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

SHARON DUNPHY, the trainer at the centre of the dramatic withdrawal of the gambled-on Like A Diamond at Ballinrobe on Monday night, has insisted that she "has nothing to hide."

Dunphy was ordered to withdraw the horse, which had been heavily backed from 50/1 into 3/1 for a nine-furlong maiden, by the stewards after admitting that it was not trained at the premises at which she was licenced to train.

She is renting boxes at a stable in Fethard, Co Tipperary, having vacated the Thurles yard that she is licenced to train at from five weeks ago.

While holding her hands up to a technical rule breach, Dunphy was critical of the wording of the stewards' report on the day, which stated that she admitted that Like A Diamond was not trained from her licenced premises.

She says that the unraced Like A Diamond was sent to her by an owner from Kildare on July 10 or 11, although she was reluctant to name any of the individuals involved in the Fair Play Partnership that is registered to own it.

Joseph Logan, who has a horse in training with Eoin Doyle and who enjoyed good success with the Joe Crowley-trained Logans Run in the past, was the named owner of Like A Diamond until recently.

Dunphy admitted that she didn't really know Fabian Burke – who was also interviewed by the Ballinrobe stewards, having been granted a temporary pass to work for her at the race meeting. "He is up around Kildare somewhere," she said of Burke.

"The owners organised for him to come racing. He did a bit of work with the horse before it came to me. He had some connection with him – I think he'd ridden him a couple of times."

Like A Diamond would have been Dunphy's first runner since May, and she hasn't had a winner since Christmas.

"I am very quiet at the moment," she explained. "I have (Like A Diamond) only a couple of weeks, but I have done everything with him.

"I don't know who backed him, but I certainly didn't have a cent on him or have anything to do with it.

"If the owners had money on him, that's their business and they are entitled to.

"The horse was working very well and I was very pleased with him, but at the same time, I'd have been happy if he was placed."

Dunphy said that she had requested the relevant forms for her change of stable last week, and that she was planning on lodging the documents with the Turf Club yesterday.

She hopes that her Fethard yard will be inspected and cleared by the Turf Club in the next few days.

Denis Egan, the Turf Club chief executive, revealed that Chris Gordon, the regulatory body's Senior Security Officer, received a tip-off shortly before 5.0 on Monday evening that Like A Diamond "was not trained in the yard he was supposed to be in."

"That's as much as we know at this stage," Egan confirmed yesterday.

"We also heard evidence on the day from Fabian Burke, who entered the stable yard on the day on a temporary pass to work for Ms Dunphy at the meeting.

"The investigation could take a few weeks."

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