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C.A. Murphy (Trainer) Appeal – Fairyhouse 1st January 2020

The Appeals Body (Division Two) Mr. N.B. Wachman (in the chair), Ms. Mary M. O’Connor and Mr. John Powell convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB), The Curragh, Co Kildare on Friday, 17th January 2020 to consider the appeal of Mr. Colm A. Murphy (Trainer) against the decision of the Stewards at Fairyhouse on 1st January 2020. On the day, the Stewards fined the trainer €2,000 under Rule 212 following the running of All About Joe in the Happy New Year From Fairyhouse Maiden Hurdle. 


Evidence was heard from Mr. Murphy, Mark McDonagh (Rider), and Mr. Patrick Sinnott (Authorised Representative). The Appeals Body also viewed a recording of the race.


In his evidence, Mr. Murphy said that Mr. McDonagh was having his first ride for him and that All About Joe was a horse owned by the rider’s father. He outlined his dissatisfaction with the ride his horse had received on the day. He stated that immediately after the race concluded, he phoned his authorised representative, Mr. Sinnott, as he suspected that the Stewards would hold an enquiry. Mr. Murphy described himself as outraged by the ride and asked his authorised representative to clearly convey that to the Stewards. Mr. Murphy also outlined that his instructions to Mr. McDonagh were to jump off in mid-division, that the horse would be green and to find out if the horse was any good. He informed the Appeals Body that he had not made his authorised representative aware of the riding instructions on the day, having spoken directly over the phone to his rider. He suggested that Mr. McDonagh had carried out the instructions until the turn in to the home straight but should have been more vigorous from then until the finish line.


In his evidence, Mr. McDonagh outlined his own riding experience to date, and that on the day in question, he found himself in the unusual position of having a horse that was still travelling well in the latter part of a race. He added that he attempted to carry out Mr. Murphy’s instructions to the best of his ability but accepted he should have made more effort in the closing stages and furthermore he admitted that he did not accurately convey Mr. Murphy’s instructions to him in the Stewards Room following the race.


In his evidence, Mr. Sinnott confirmed that Mr. Murphy had phoned him shortly after the race and told him of his dissatisfaction with the ride. Mr. Sinnott said that this was his first time in the Stewards Room and that he failed to accurately reflect Mr. Murphy’s dissatisfaction about the ride. He also added that he was incorrect to confirm the instructions as relayed by Mr. McDonagh in the enquiry as he was not made aware of these by Mr. Murphy.


Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body dismissed the appeal, finding  Mr. Murphy to be in breach of Rule 212 and they confirmed the decision of the Stewards on the day to impose a fine of €2,000 and they ordered that his deposit be forfeited.


The case was presented by Paul Murtagh, I.N.H.S. Committee Registrar and Cliodhna Guy, IHRB Head of Licensing, Legal and Compliance. Mr. Murphy was represented by Patrick Kennedy of Patrick J. O’Meara & Co. Solicitors, Liberty Square, Thurles, Co Tipperary.


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