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Liam Kenny - Trainer / B.T. O'Connell - Rider

Liam Kenny – Trainer / B.T. O’Connell – Rider
“That Beats Banaher (GB)” Appeals
Fairyhouse – 29th January 2011

The Appeals Body (Division One), Andrew Cody (in the Chair), N.B. Wachman and Mrs. T.K. Cooper met in the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on 4th February 2011 to consider the appeals of Liam Kenny, trainer and B.T. O’Connell, rider against the decision of the Stewards at Fairyhouse on 29th January 2011 when following the running of the New Tote Daily Double Beginners Chase, Liam Kenny was fined €1,500 and “That Beats Banaher (GB)” suspended from racing for 42 days as the Stewards found that the racecourse had been used as a training ground.  In addition B.T. O’Connell was suspended for 7 racedays and ordered to forfeit his riding fee as the Stewards found that he had made insufficient effort.

Liam Kenny’s grounds of appeal were that he at all times instructed his rider to give the horse the full opportunity to win or obtain the best possible placing.

B.T. O’Connell’s grounds of appeal were that he took all reasonable and permissible measures throughout the race to ensure that his horse was given a full opportunity to win or of obtaining the best possible place and that in all the circumstances bearing in mind the horses previous history including his race record and veterinary record that the horse was ridden to obtain the best possible place.

Evidence was heard from Clyde Kennedy, Authorised Representative for Liam Kenny, Liam Kenny, B.T. O’Connell and Noel O’Brien, Senior I.N.H.S. Handicapper.  Videos of the race were viewed.  The Appeals Body also viewed videos of the horses previous three runs at Thurles, Punchestown and Punchestown.

In his evidence Clyde Kennedy confirmed the riding instructions given to B.T. O’Connell which were to “jump off fifth or sixth and try your best with him”.  He said he was satisfied with the ride the horse got but that he thought the horse would have finished better.  In relation to the horses previous run he confirmed that B.T. O’Connell had reported to him that the horse made a noise during the Thurles race.  He said that he felt this was due to the absence of a cross noseband which had been used for all the horses previous runs and which had again been used at Fairyhouse.  He also said that the change in riding tactics at Fairyhouse enabled the horse to finish better as he had not finished well on his previous runs.

Liam Kenny (who was not at Fairyhouse) said that the horse was as fit as he could be for the Fairyhouse race.  He was satisfied with the run and with the ride which he said was a “good” ride.  He said that the horse had disappointed on his previous runs and that if he hadn’t improved at Fairyhouse he would be laid off for the season with a view to going back point-to-pointing next year.  He said he accepted he received a report from B.T. O’Connell after the Thurles race that the horse had made a noise and that he hadn’t reported it to the Office of the Governing Bodies as required under rules.  In response to a question from Mrs. T.K. Cooper, Mr. Kenny confirmed that the horse had always worn a cross noseband except when he ran at Thurles.

In his evidence B.T. O’Connell accepted that the ride he gave the horse wasn’t a vigorous ride but confirmed that was the plan as the horse had stopped quickly when he was ridden aggressively on previous runs.  He said he did not resort to the whip in the closing stages when his chance of bettering his position was gone and in his view he said that he wouldn’t have improved his position if he had done so.  He said he was “delighted at the way the horse ran”.  He also confirmed that he reported that the horse had made a noise at Thurles.  In conclusion he reiterated that the horse ran as well as he did because of the way he was ridden and he felt that the riding tactics applied in previous races didn’t suit the horse.

Noel O’Brien said that this was the best beginners chase that the horse had run in.  He said that the run at Fairyhouse represented an improvement of about 39lbs on his previous run at Thurles and that it was his best run ever.  He also suggested that the horse may be better suited by the trip of the Fairyhouse race (2 miles 5 furlongs) rather than a longer distance even though he had won point-to-points over three miles.

The Appeals Body also reviewed videos of the horses previous three runs and noted the different riding tactics that were used.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body allowed the appeals as they felt that having taken all evidence into consideration, including evidence which was not available to the Stewards at Fairyhouse, the evidence was not sufficient to conclude that there was a breach of rules.

The case was presented by Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club.  Liam Kenny and B.T. O’Connell were represented by Andrew Coonan, Coonan Cawley Solicitors in Naas, Co. Kildare.

For further information, please contact:
Denis Egan
Chief Executive
The Turf Club
The Curragh
Co. Kildare.

Tel: 045 – 445600

Date: 4th February 2011


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