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James Browne (Owner) Referral – Killarney 18th July 2023

The Referrals Committee, Mr. Peter M. Allen (Chair), Mr. Jack Rearden and Mr. Peter N. Reynolds convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Monday 28th August 2023 to consider the referral of Mr. James Browne, Owner, by the IHRB Appeals Body following a hearing on Wednesday 16th August 2023.

On that day, the Appeals Body, Ms. Susan Ahern, B.L., (Chair), Mr. Nicholas Wachman and Mr. John Murphyhad convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board to consider an appeal by Mr. Browne against the decision of the Raceday Stewards at Killarney to call the Winner All Right of the William Hill Ireland Maiden at Killarney on 18th July 2023. Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body ordered the appropriate next step was to remit consideration of the Winner All Right decision to a Referrals Committee to consider the race.

At the Referral Hearing, the Committee considered evidence from Mr. Ben Browne, on behalf of Mr. James Browne, Owner of Most Wanted, from Ronan Whelan, Rider of Most Wanted, placed second, from Leigh Roche, Rider of Coolree, placed first, and from Mr. Patrick Kennedy, Solicitor on behalf of Miss Jennifer Lynch, trainer of Coolree. The Committee also watched a recording of the race.

In his evidence, Mr. Whelan explained that he felt like he was coming with a winning run but that just as his mount was coming upsides Coolree he felt Most Wanted running around slightly with an unusual head carriage which caused him to lose all momentum. Mr. Whelan stated that he know why Most Wanted was carrying himself in this manner but that he became aware later that Mr. Roche’s whip had made contact with Most Wanted, having viewed the video footage.

In his evidence, Mr. Roche stated that his mount was hanging right out of loneliness having been in front for a considerable amount of time but that, once joined by Most Wanted and Mr. Whelan, Coolree was always holding Most Wanted towards the line. Mr. Roche said that it was unfortunate the horses came close but there was no shout from Mr. Whelan and that it was just a racing incident.

In his evidence, Mr. Browne said that he felt Mr. Roche caused serious interference and should have been more aware of his surroundings. Mr. Browne suggested that the interference which was caused by Mr. Roche’s whip use had cost Most Wanted at least a length and he was only a half-length down at the time of the interference and the winning margin was also a half-length.

Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee was satisfied that Coolree had caused interference to Most Wanted, and they were of the opinion that as a result of the interference Coolree improved his placing in relation to Most Wanted, and so they ordered that the placings be reversed. 


The Amended result of the William Hill Ireland Maiden now reads:

First:                Most Wanted

Second:           Coolree

Third:              God Knows

Fourth:             Indigo Five

Fifth:                Believe In Science


Furthermore, the Committee was satisfied that Mr. Roche was in breach of Rule 214 in that he ridden carelessly. Having considered his record in this regard the Committee cautioned Mr. Roche on this occasion. The Committee also found Mr. Whelan in breach of Rule 213(ii) in that he failed to report in the first instance anything that might have affected the running of his horse in the race. Having considered his record in this regard, the Committee cautioned Mr. Whelan on this occasion.

The case was presented by Mr. Michael Daly, IHRB Regulatory Legal Advisor. Mr. James Browne was represented by Mr. Ben Browne. Miss Jennifer Lynch, Trainer of Coolree, was represented by Mr. Patrick Kennedy of Patrick J. O’Meara Solicitors, Thurles, County Tipperary.

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