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Qatar Racing Limited (Owner) Appeal Dundalk 17 October 2014

The Appeals Body (Division Two) Peter M. Allen (in the chair), N.B. Wachman and P.J.A. O’Connor met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Wednesday 29th October 2014 to consider the appeal of Qatar Racing Ltd, owners of Obliterator.  The appeal was against the decision of the Stewards at Dundalk on 17th October 2014 to demote Obliterator from first place to second place following the running of the Carlingford Stakes (Listed Race).  The Stewards had held an enquiry into possible interference in the closing stages of the race involving Obliterator, ridden by Colin Keane, winner, and Chance To Dance, ridden by Kevin Manning, placed second, where it appeared Chance To Dance suffered interference. As a result they reversed the first and second placings as they were of the opinion that Obliterator had improved his finishing position as a result of causing interference.  

The grounds of appeal lodged by Qatar Racing Limited were that the stewards erred in their decision to reverse the placings and in their findings that Obliterator improved his position as a result of causing interference.   Evidence was heard from Colin Keane and Kevin Manning. Film of the race was also viewed.

In his evidence, Colin Keane said that he accepted his horse had run around as he was very green and inexperienced but that his horse was the better horse on the night and won on merit. He said his horse was never headed by Chance To Dance and that he was unable to use his whip towards the end of the race as Chance To Dance was leaning in towards him. He said he only used his whip on four occasions and that his horse was idling in front. He attributed his horse’s drift to the wind and rain. In response to a question from Conal Boyce, Mr. Keane accepted that, at the original enquiry, he did not refer to the fact that Chance To Dance was leaning in on him towards the latter stages of the race.

In his evidence, Kevin Manning said he was over two lengths down at the turn into the straight and was getting ready to deliver his challenge when he was interfered with. As a result he had to reorganise his horse and pull around Obliterator to restart his challenge. This cost him momentum and he was gaining on Obliterator all the way to the line. He said he would have won the race by 1½ lengths at least if interference had not taken place. He accepted his horse may have brushed off Obliterator near the line but that it did not cause Obliterator to lose momentum. He concluded by stating that if both horses had run straight that Chance To Dance would definitely have won.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body accepted that the weather on the evening was poor and that Obliterator was relatively inexperienced. However they felt that Obliterator’s inexperience was not relevant. They found that Obliterator had improved his placing as result of causing interference to Chance To Dance and ordered that the result as amended by the stewards at Dundalk stands. Therefore the result reads:

First:   Chance To Dance

Second: Obliterator

Third:   Afonso De Sousa (USA)

Fourth:  Prince Of All

Furthermore the Appeals Body ordered that the appeal deposit be forfeited.

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Solicitor, Naas, Co. Kildare.  Qatar Racing Limited was represented by Andrew Coonan, solicitor, Coonan Cawley, Naas, Co Kildare.

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