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GVD Syndicate (Owner) Appeal – Limerick 22nd October 2023

The Appeals Body, Mr. Nicholas Wachman (Chair), Dr. Paddy Molony and Mr. Anthony Byrne convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Friday 10th November 2023 to consider the appeal of GVD Syndicate (Owner) following the decision of the Raceday Stewards at Limerick on 22nd of October 2023.

Following the running of the Garrynacura Stud Handicap Hurdle, the Raceday Stewards enquired into possible interference in the closing stages involving Halsafarai, ridden by B. Hayes, placed third, Millstream Lady, ridden by C.P. McNamara, placed second, and Rockbrook ridden by S.D. Torrens, placed first. Having viewed the recording of the race and considered the evidence, the Raceday Stewards were of the opinion that Rockbrook had caused interference to Millstream Lady and as a result of this interference had improved its finishing position. As a consequence, the Raceday Stewards reversed the placings of the first and second placed horses.

The grounds of appeal lodged by the GVD Syndicate were that the Raceday Stewards erred in their decision.

At the appeal hearing, evidence was heard on behalf of the GVD Syndicate, owners of Rockbrook, from Philip Rothwell, Trainer, and Simon Torrens, Rider. The Appeals Body also watched a recording of the race.

In his evidence, Mr. Torrens accepted that he had ridden carelessly and that he should have corrected his mount quicker from when he started drifting. However, Mr. Torrens stated that, in his opinion, his mount had forfeited significant ground by drifting and had he maintained a straight line that he would have won the race by a much wider margin.

In his evidence, Mr. Rothwell agreed that Mr. Torrens should have straightened his mount but felt that Rockbrook was the best horse on the day. Mr. Rothwell stated that on viewing the video evidence he accepted that Mr. Torrens and Rockbrook had drifted significantly left but felt Mr. McNamara and Millstream Lady had also drifted right. Mr. Rothwell added that he didn’t dispute there was interference, he felt that neither horse or jockey lost any momentum and his horse should have won the race by further than a head on the day.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body were satisfied that Rockbrook had not improved his position as a result of the interference and therefore allowed the appeal and amended the result.

Garrynacurra Stud Handicap Hurdle

Limerick 22nd October 2023

First:                Rockbrook

Second:            Millstream Lady

Third:               Halsafari

Fourth:             Cheerful Chap

Fifth:                Qatar Spirit (FR)

Sixth:               Swelltime


The appeal was presented on behalf of the GVD Syndicate by Mr. Michael MacCarthy of Coughlan White and Partners, Newbridge, Co. Kildare. Connections of Millstream Lady were represented by Mr. Kevin Power of Maurice Power Solicitors, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick.

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