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Adrian McGuinness (Trainer) Referral – The Curragh 26th June 2022

The Referrals Committee, Mr. Peter M. Allen (in the chair), Mr. Anthony Byrne and Mr. Laurence McFerran convened in the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Wednesday 17th August, to consider the referral of Mr. Adrian McGuinness (Trainer) following the fixture at The Curragh on Sunday, 26th June 2022.

On the day, Mr. McGuinness had been requested by the Stewards to present Laugh A Minute (GB) for a post-race sample after the Paddy Power Rockingham Handicap but the horse was not presented to the IHRB sampling unit prior to leaving the racecourse.

At the Referral Hearing, the committee considered evidence from Mr. McGuinness and Dr. Lynn Hillyer, Head of Anti-Doping and Chief Veterinary Officer.

In her evidence, Dr. Hillyer explained that the Paddy Power Rockingham Handicap was one of the races on the day selected for pre-race testing. Dr. Hillyer said that while taking a sample from Laugh A Minute she noticed a venepuncture with traces of blood on the horse which concerned her as it appeared to be relatively recent. She noted the provisions of Rule 87(vii)(d) prohibiting administration of any substances on raceday.

Dr. Hillyer explained that Mr. Peter Matthews, IHRB Stipendiary Steward and Mr. McGuinness subsequently discussed the matter following Race 2 on the day and at this point Mr. McGuinness explained that the horse had received Duphalyte on the evening prior to the race as he can be a very nervous horse when travelling and this was administered by his own veterinary surgeon who could be contacted to confirm this. Dr. Hillyer added that, following the running of Race 3 and prior to Laugh A Minute running in the Race 4, Mr. McGuinness was informed by Mr. Matthews and Dr. Hillyer that a full regulatory sample would also be taken from Laugh A Minute post-race and Mr. McGuinness acknowledged this requirement. She stated that at 3.44pm a member of the IHRB veterinary team contacted her to say that Laugh A Minute had not been presented for sampling post-race and that a subsequent review of CCTV footage showed Mr. McGuinness’ three horses leaving the stable yard at 3.31pm. The matter was noted in the Chairman’s Report on the day and forward to the Offices of the IHRB for further consideration.

In his evidence, Mr. McGuinness accepted the evidence as given by Dr. Hillyer and suggested that the matter was a complete breakdown of communications on the day. He said that Laugh A Minute is a very difficult and highly strung horse and that is why he was administered with Duphalyte on the evening before the race. Mr. McGuinness recalled that he had only three runners on the day in question and that all three horses were running in the same race. He accepted that he was told by Mr. Matthews and Dr. Hillyer that the horse would be tested post-race but said that he had failed to relay this information to his staff as he felt that they would be informed by members of the IHRB veterinary team or security team. Mr. McGuinness added that he had to put saddles on the three horses for the race so his engagement with his staff at this time was minimal and he was then dealing with owners, and he didn’t return to the stable yard after the race so never questioned if the horse was post-race sampled. Mr. McGuinness apologised for the confusion caused.

Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee were satisfied that Mr. McGuinness was in breach of Rule 13(b), in that he had failed to comply with a reasonable request or instruction from a racing Official and imposed a fine of €750.

The case was presented by Mr. Michael Daly, IHRB Regulatory Legal Advisor

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