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Kevin F. O’Donnell (Trainer) Appeal – Thurles 22nd October 2020

The Appeals Body (Division 2), Mr. N.B. Wachman (in the chair) Ms. Mary M. O’Connor and Mr. Sean Barry convened at Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on 10th December 2020 to consider the appeal of Kevin F. O’Donnell (Trainer) against the decision of the Stewards at Thurles on 22nd October 2020.


On the day, following the running of the He’llberemembered Hurdle, the Stewards enquired into possible interference inside the final 100 yards involving The Bosses Oscar, placed first, trained by Gordon Elliott and ridden by Gearoid Brouder, and Rightplacerighttime, placed second, trained by Kevin O’Donnell and ridden by Liam Quinlan. Having considered the evidence on the day, the Stewards made no alteration to the Judge’s placings. The grounds of appeal lodged by Mr. Donnell was that interference was caused to Rightplacerighttime which prevented him from achieving his best possible placing.


Evidence was heard from Mr. O’Donnell in the company of his wife, Mrs. Miriam O’Donnell, and Mr. Kevin O’Ryan, representing Gordon Elliott. The panel also viewed a recording of the race.


In his evidence, Mr. O’Donnell stated that, in his opinion, Rightplacerighttime had come to make his challenge and he was coming with a clear run when he was hindered as The Bosses Oscar moved across his horse and all momentum was lost at this point. He added that Mr. Brouder had made no effort to correct The Bosses Oscar and that Mr. Quinlan on Rightplacerighttime had his head down in the drive position attempting to win his race. Mrs. O’Donnell requested that the panel disregard the evidence given to the Stewards on the day by Mr. Quinlan as she felt Mr. Quinlan’s statement that the contact between the horse didn’t make any difference to the result wasn’t an accurate take on events.


In his evidence, Mr. O’Ryan said that the best horse won on the day and that subsequent form of the two horses helped to prove that. He outlined that The Bosses Oscar was in front from the second last hurdle and got idle from the last hurdle home which was a factor to the horses coming off a straight line. Referring to the transcript of the Stewards Enquiry on the day, Mr. O’Ryan said he agreed with Mr. Quinlan’s view that the interference did not make any difference to the result.


Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body did not find any error with the decision of the Stewards on the day and agreed with the view that the interference did not preclude Rightplacerighttime from achieving his best possible placing.


The case was presented by Mr. Liam Walsh, Stipendiary Steward.

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