Fairyhouse – 24th April 2011
The Appeals Body (Division Two), N.B. Wachman (in the Chair), Mrs. J.O. Onions and Martin P. O’Donnell met at the Turf Club on 16th May 2011 to consider the appeals of W.P. Mullins, trainer Sir Vincent, Ruby Walsh, rider Sir Vincent and Henry de Bromhead, trainer Jack Bene, against the decision of the Stewards at Fairyhouse on 24th April 2011 when, following the running of the I.N.H. Stallion Owners European Breeders Fund Novice Handicap Hurdle Series Final, the placings were not reversed as the Stewards could not be satisfied any horse improved his finishing position as a result of the interference caused by the winner Baracas (FR).
Evidence was heard from P.W. Mullins (representing W.P. Mullins), Ruby Walsh, Henry de Bromhead, A.P. Heskin, rider Jack Bene, Eoin Griffin, trainer Baracas (FR) and M.J. Bolger, rider Baracas (FR). Videos of the race were also viewed. In his evidence Ruby Walsh referred to the ground lost by Sir Vincent after the last hurdle. He said he went from being 11/4 lengths down just before the interference occurred, to 3 lengths down in the last 100 yards after having his momentum stopped. He was adamant he would have won the race but for the interference sufferance. Patrick Mullins said that Sir Vincent would have won the race but for the interference caused by Baracas (FR). He reiterated the evidence given by Ruby Walsh. Henry de Bromhead said that Jack Bene lost all momentum as a result of the interference caused by Baracas (FR) and that in his view this stopped Jack Bene finishing in front of Baracas (FR). He accepted that his horse would not have finished in front of Sir Vincent.
A.P. Heskin confirmed the evidence given by Henry de Bromhead. He said it took him 50 yards to gather up his horse after the interference was caused and that he would have finished second but for the interference. He confirmed that in his view he would have beaten Baracas (FR). In his evidence, M.J. Bolger accepted that his horse jumped right at the last but that he was idling when he hit the front. He felt his horse would have quickened again if another horse came up alongside. He said he had “plenty of horse” and that he was in no doubt that the best horse won. Eoin Griffin confirmed the evidence given by M.J. Bolger. He said his horse idled when he hit the front and felt that he would have picked up again if another horse had come alongside. He said that the best horse won on the day and while there was interference it didn’t affect the result. Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body dismissed the appeals on the basis that they could not be satisfied that any horse improved his final placing as a result of the interference caused. The case was presented to the Committee by Conal Boyce, Wilkinson & Price Solicitors, Naas, Co. Kildare. Eoin Griffin was represented by Frank Ward, Patrick Ward& Co. Solicitors, Equity House, Upper Ormond Quay, Dublin 7.