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Vincent M. Foley (Owner) Appeal - Kilbeggan 18th July 2014

The Appeals Body (Division Two) N.B. Wachman (in the Chair), Martin P. O’Donnell and Colin Magnier met in the Turf Club Offices, The Curragh, Co Kildare on Friday, 5th September, 2014 to consider the appeal of Vincent M Foley, owner of Vinniespride.  The appeal was against the decision of the Stewards at Kilbeggan on 18th July, 2014, not to promote his horse from third place following the running of the Destination Athlone Handicap Hurdle race.  The Stewards had enquired into possible interference after the last hurdle involving The Black Russian, placed first, ridden by B.J. Geraghty and Vinniespride, placed third, ridden by D.R. Fox but ordered that the placings remain unaltered.

The grounds of appeal lodged by Vincent M. Foley were that the winner, The Black Russian, improved its finishing position in relation to Vinniespride as a result of the incident which ultimately prevented Vinniespride from improving its finishing position.   Evidence was heard from Vincent M. Foley and D.R. Fox, owner and rider of Vinniespride, and B.J. Geraghty and F.M. Hanley, rider and trainer of The Black Russian.  A recording of the incident was also viewed.

In his evidence Vincent Foley stated that Vinniespride was gaining momentum with every stride on the approach to and after the final hurdle but his run was restricted due to the action taken by Barry Geraghty.  He said that his horse was trying to maintain its racing line from the final hurdle to the finishing post and in his opinion the animal’s chances of winning were affected as a consequence.

In his evidence David Fox stated that he was half a length behind the eventual winner after both horses had jumped the final hurdle and manoeuvred his horse to challenge on the inside of The Black Russian on the run to the finishing line.  He suggested there was sufficient room for him to do so but that his mount was impeded in the manoeuvre.

In his evidence Barry Geraghty stated that his horse led before the second last hurdle and maintained his position on the approach to and after the final hurdle.  He also stated there was insufficient room for a horse to challenge on his inside after the final hurdle and that he had maintained his racing line on the approach to the rail after the final hurdle.  In his opinion The Black Russian was impeded by the horse challenging on his inside.

Fergus Hanley, trainer of The Black Russian, concurred with Barry Geraghty’s evidence.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body ruled that Barry Geraghty was entitled to maintain the racing line he had taken from the last hurdle to the winning post.  They therefore dismissed the appeal and ruled that the result remain unaltered. In addition the panel ordered the forfeiture of the appeal deposit.

The case was presented by Paul Murtagh, Turf Club Racing Official.

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