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W.P. Mullins (Trainer) and J.A. Heffernan (Rider) Referral – Fairyhouse 15th June 2020

The Referrals Committee, Mr. Sean Barry (in the chair), Mr. Finbarr Cahill and Mr. Jack Rearden convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Tuesday, 21st December 2021 to consider the referral of Willie Mullins (Trainer) and Seamus Heffernan (Rider) from the fixture at Fairyhouse on 15th June 2020.

On the day, following the running of the Ratoath Handicap,  the Stewards wished to enquire into the running and riding of Mister Blue Sky, trained by Mr. Mullins and ridden by Mr. Heffernan but were unable to do so as Mr. Mullins’ authorised representative had already left the racecourse.

At the Referral Hearing, the panel considered evidence from Mr. Mullins and Mr. Heffernan and they also watched a recording of the race.

In his evidence, Mr. Heffernan stated that Mr. Mullins isn’t a trainer that ties a rider down to instructions but he discusses the race and gives information about the horse. Mr. Heffernan said the horse had form over six furlongs and two miles so he wanted an end to end gallop but was drawn very wide so elected to drop in as he wanted to be on the rail. He felt the horse ran ok but he was unable to reduce the distance when gaps appeared for him.

In his evidence, Mr. Mullins confirmed that following a conversation pre-race with Mr. Heffernan that the horse would try to get across to the rail from a wide draw as it was the most watered part of the track. He added that the horse was a free going type who wore a hood for that reason and he had plenty of daylight in the closing stages but the horses in front kept going away from him and he was satisfied with the ride from a wide draw.

Having considered the evidence, the panel noted the explanations offered and took no further action.

The case was presented by Mr. Michael Daly, IHRB Regulatory Legal Advisor and Colman Sweeney, IHRB Stipendiary Steward

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