Monday 22 January 2018

O'Brien handed hefty Blanco fine

Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Getty Images
Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Getty Images

Aidan O'Brien has been fined a total of £10,400 (€12,230) by the British Horseracing Authority disciplinary panel in relation to the Cape Blanco affair at York in May.

The Ballydoyle trainer was initially charged with "acting in a manner prejudicial to the conduct and/or good reputation of racing" after instructing his employee, Pat Keating, not to trot up the horse in front of the BHA veterinary officer and the senior racecourse veterinary surgeon following the colt's Dante success.



That charge was later amended, and O'Brien admitted to "acting in a manner prejudicial to the conduct of horseracing in Great Britain" at a disciplinary panel hearing which ended last month, as well as two other charges of encouraging and/or causing Keating to refuse to comply with two instructions given by the York stewards.



In its findings released today, the disciplinary panel concluded that in respect of Keating no penalty is due, as on both occasions that he refused to obey the stewards he was "acting under the direct instructions of O'Brien".



O'Brien was fined £9,000 (€10,584) for "acting in a manner prejudicial to the conduct and/or good reputation of racing", as well as £1,400 (€1,646) with regard to Rule (B)83 which is "failure to obey stewards".



A statement added: "The Panel has considered very carefully whether the proper approach on this occasion would be to deal with the issue by imposing a period of time during which horses entered in races in Great Britain by Aidan O'Brien were not allowed to race.



"The Panel has determined on this occasion that it is proportionate in all the circumstances to deal with the matter by way of a financial penalty and have determined that a fine of £9,000 (€10,584) is appropriate in all the circumstances.



"The Panel recognises that this is a significant sum and considers it properly reflects the disregard demonstrated by Aidan O'Brien for the concern of the vets and the proper conduct of horseracing in Great Britain.



"The Panel wishes to note that if Aidan O'Brien were to breach the Rules in similar circumstances again, this Panel would have no hesitation in acting to restrict the ability of Aidan O'Brien's horses to run in Great Britain."



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