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Turf Club to reopen Foxrock inquiry after new video emerges

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Ted Walsh and horse Foxrock

Ted Walsh and horse Foxrock

Ted Walsh and horse Foxrock

One of the best known figures in Irish racing is at the centre of a renewed Turf Club investigation over his horse's performance at Punchestown last December.

But winning trainer Ted Walsh says he will answer any questions put to him.

The popular racing pundit and media personality will give evidence at a hearing involving his star horse, Foxrock. The inquiry centres around the Weatherbys Ireland GSB Handicap Steeplechase run at Punchestown on December 7.

Foxrock, who is owned by businessman Barry Connell, finished third in the race behind Henry De Bromhead's Grand Jesture.

A stewards' investigation at the conclusion of the race investigated the running and riding of the horse.

Both Mr Walsh, based in Kill, Co Kildare, and jockey Adrian Heskin provided evidence.

The jockey said his mount clipped a heel and stumbled badly, after he had passed the stands, and from then on he wasn't pleased with Foxrock.

Mr Walsh stated that he felt his jockey could have been more forceful between the third last and second last fences.

When the horse returned to the stable yard, it was stated that both of the animal's front shoes were missing. The stewards also received a report which stated that Foxrock had pulled off both his front shoes in running, and was slightly lame after the race.

However, the emergence of new evidence has persuaded the Turf Club to reopen the enquiry. It is understood camera evidence located at the parade ring in Punchestown shows Foxrock clearly wearing both front shoes after the race.

This footage is believed to have not been taken into consideration during the initial inquiry.

The Turf Club's Referrals Committee will meet both Mr Walsh and Mr Heskin on April 2.

Foxrock provided a major success for Mr Walsh when he won the Boylesports Handicap Chase at Leopardstown in January, and was subsequently runner-up to Carlingford Lough, in the Grade One Hennessy Gold Cup.

In the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham last week he finished last of the 12 runners behind Tony McCoy's Uxizandre.

Irish Independent