Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

David O’Meara (Trainer), Declan McDonogh (Rider) & Cheveley Park Stud (Owners) Appeals Leopardstown,

The Appeals Body, (Division One), Mr. Justice Joseph Finnegan, (in the chair), Philip McLernon and John Powell met at the Turf Club, Curragh, Co. Kildare on Monday, 20th November 2017 to consider the appeals of David O’Meara (Trainer), Declan McDonogh (Rider) and Cheveley Park Stud (Owners) of Larchmont Lad, against the decision of the Stewards at Leopardstown on 28th October 2017.

On the day, following the running of the Tote.com Knockaire Stakes, the Stewards enquired into possible interference inside the final furlong involving Larchmont Lad, ridden by Declan McDonogh, placed first and Making Light, ridden by Leigh Roche, placed second. Having viewed the recording of the race and considered the evidence, the Stewards were satisfied that Larchmont Lad had improved his placing over Making Light by intimidation and therefore reversed the placings with the revised result to read; First - Making Light, Second - Larchmont Lad.

The general grounds of appeal, inter alia are that the decision is not borne out by the incident or evidence leading to Larchmont Lad been first past the post and being demoted to second place and promoting Making Light to first place. It will be submitted that the stewards on the day erred in their decision

The Appeals Body considered submissions from Eugene Gleeson S.C., on behalf of the Appellants and Kevin Power, on behalf of the connections of Making Light. The Appeals Body also considered a transcript of the original evidence and viewed the recording of the race.

In his submission Eugene Gleeson S.C. referred to what occurred. He said there was no physical contact between the two horses and that Leigh Roche had never stopped riding. He accepted that Larchmont Lad did go right but that what occurred did not warrant the finding made by the local stewards.

In his submission, Kevin Power said that there doesn’t have to be physical contact for interference to be caused and what had occurred was intimidation. He said that Making Light was beaten by a nose and had lost considerably more ground as a result of being carried across the track by Larchmont Lad than she was beaten by. He also submitted that there would have been a collision between both horses if Making Light maintained her racing line.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body found that there was evidence that justified the decision reached by the stewards at Leopardstown and that they could not find any error in the manner in which the Stewards arrived at their conclusion. In view of this they disallowed the appeals and ordered that the appeal deposit be forfeited.

The case was presented by Paul Murtagh, Head of Raceday Operations and Cliodhna Guy, Head of Licensing, Legal and Compliance. David O’Meara, Declan McDonogh and Cheveley Park Stud were represented by Eugene Gleeson S.C. instructed by Frank Ward, Frank Ward & Co. Solicitors, Dublin 7. D.K. Weld, Trainer, Leigh Roche, Rider, and Moyglare Stud Farm, Owners, of Making Light were represented by Kevin Power, Maurice Power, Solicitors, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick.


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