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Michael Halford (Trainer) Referral – Leopardstown 26th October 2019


The Referrals Committee Mr. Peter N. Reynolds (in the chair), Mr. Stephen Collins and Mr. Charles C. Cunningham convened at the Stewards Room at Dundalk Racecourse on 6th November 2019 to consider the referral of Michael Halford (Trainer) by the Acting Stewards at Leopardstown on 26th October 2019.


On the day, following the running of the Tote Supporting Irish Racing 1930 Handicap, the Stewards requested a report from M. Halford, trainer, as to the apparent improvement in form of Sonaiyla, placed first, as compared with her recent form. However, the Stewards were unable to proceed with the matter as neither Mr. Halford nor any of his Authorised Representatives were present. The Stewards therefore referred the matter to the Referrals Committee under the provisions of Rule 147(v).


Evidence was heard from Mr. Halford. The Referrals Committee also viewed footage of the race.


In his evidence, Mr. Halford stated that he had been disappointed with Sonaiyla’s previous run at Gowran Park and as a result he carried out a number of examinations but failed to come up with any explanation to explain that poor performance. He added that the filly had been extremely consistent on various types of ground and was happy that she had put the Gowran Park run behind her.


Mr. Halford also offered his apologies for not having an Authorised Representative present on the day. He explained that it was his intention to attend Leopardstown on the day but circumstances outside of his control prevented him from making it.


Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee noted Mr. Halford’s explanation regarding Sonaiyla. Furthermore, they found him to be in breach of Rule 147(v) in that he had failed to nominate an Authorised Representative for this meeting and they imposed a €130 fine.


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

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