Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

David Wachman/Niarchos Family Appeals - Leopardstown 8 Sept 2012

The Appeals Body (Division Two), Justice Frank Clarke (in the Chair), John Moloney and C.P. Magnier met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on 4th October 2012 to consider the appeals of David Wachman and the Niarchos Family, trainer and owners respectively of Duntle, against the decision of the Stewards at Leopardstown on 8th September 2012, to reverse the placings of first and second in the Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes.

The grounds of appeal lodged were that if interference occurred, which is not accepted, any such interference did not affect the outcome of the race.
 
Evidence was heard from Eddie Wiley, racing film producer and camera expert, Wayne Lordan (rider Duntle), Shane Foley (rider Alanza) and Tom Queally (rider Chachamaidee).  Film of the race was also viewed.

At the outset, Frank Ward made a number of submissions concerning the video evidence.  He objected to the video evidence being used at the appeal stating that some of the critical cameras were incorrectly positioned as they were located on the inside track while the race was run on the outside track.  He also stated the Stewards were unaware that the cameras were positioned incorrectly and that there was no evidence available of anything witnessed by the Stewards during their observation of the race.  Considering all of these factors he further stated that the Appeals Body should confine their deliberations to the contents of the transcript.

During Mr. Ward’s initial submission, evidence was heard from Eddie Wiley.  The Appeals Body also considered film produced by Mr. Wiley from the integrity pictures viewed by the Stewards for the race under appeal and the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes.  In response, Patrick Kennedy stated there was no reference in the Rules as to where cameras should be positioned and under the provisions of Rule 257, the Appeals Body could consider a video recording or film of any race under their consideration.

After a short adjournment, the Appeals Body decided that the appeal should proceed and that they would decide how much emphasis to place on each aspect of the evidence presented.

Further evidence was heard from Eddie Wiley who elaborated in detail on various pieces of footage he had produced.  He stated that Chachamaidee had made a significant inward movement.  He also stated that based on a review of the film, the interference took place about 205 yards from the finish and not between 100 yards and 150 yards as Tom Queally originally told the Stewards.  He further stated that Chachamaidee lost no momentum or did not become unbalanced as a result of the interference and, Tom Queally did not stop riding.  He concluded that the camera angles did not adequately show how the race unfolded and that some of the events were obscured by horses in the rear because of the positioning of the camera.
In his evidence, Wayne Lordan told the Appeals Body that Duntle kept straight and that he was not aware of Chachamaidee on the outside of Alanza.  He said that the incident happened at the 200 yard marker and at no stage did Tom Queally have to stop riding and neither did Chachamaidee ever change her legs.  He went on to say that Chachamaidee’s best form was over 7 furlongs and, she has been beaten twice over a mile on a stiff track.  He suggested Leopardstown was a stiff track and that this may have contributed to her defeat.  At this point, film of Chachamaidee’s race at Royal Ascot over one mile on 20th June 2012 was shown.  In this race she finished second to Joviality.

In response to a question from the Chairman Justice Frank Clarke, Wayne Lordan stated that he did not criticize Tom Queally’s maneuver on the day as he wasn’t focusing on it and in any case his view was obstructed by Alanza.  He also stated Chachamaidee followed Alanza across towards Duntle and that was where they bumped and the reason why they bumped rather than as a result of anything that Duntle did.  He further stated that it was a fair battle to the line and that his filly Duntle pulled out the most.  In conclusion, he said that Alanza rolled in on Duntle.

In his evidence, Shane Foley said that Wayne Lordan was entitled to go for the gap when it opened and when Duntle went into the gap, his filly Alanza over exaggerated, went right, and interfered with Chachamaidee.  He said that Alanza had drifted into Duntle twice when Duntle was maneuvering out through the gap and that he contributed to the interference.  He accepted that Duntle brushed off Alanza but Wayne Lordan was entitled to do as he did.  He also stated that he was unaware that Chachamaidee was on his outside and in his opinion contact was not substantial.  He further stated that the best horse won on the day.

Following cross examination, Shane Foley accepted that he bumped into Chachamaidee as a result of Duntle bumping into his mount.

In his evidence, Tom Queally said that he had a fair battle to the line with Duntle and if Chachamaidee had not been bumped she would have won fair and square.  He said he drifted to the left intentionally but at no stage did he cause any interference by doing so.

In relation to the bumping incident, Tom Queally said that this cost him the race as it allowed Duntle to get away from him. 

During cross examination, Tom Queally accepted that the interference took place around 200 yards from the line.  He said that on the day he believed that the interference took place between the 100 and 150 yard marker as he was concentrating on the run to the line. He also accepted that he did not stop riding when he received the bump but that it took him off his racing line with the result that he had to cover more ground.  He said that this ultimately cost him the race as he was only beaten by a short head.  He also said that his filly didn’t change her legs after the incident and that she was not ahead of Duntle when the incident occurred.  He concluded by saying that he went behind Duntle after the bump.

In delivering the decision, Justice Frank Clarke on behalf of the Appeals Body, said that the view they came to was based on the evidence before them today, the video evidence, the evidence of the various riders that took part in the race and the submissions made on both sides.  He said that they also took into account the fact that the camera angles, both the head on and rear view were less than ideal and that it would clearly have been preferable if they had available (as it would have been to the Stewards on the day) a full head on and rear view, which could give a better view to the extent that the horses have left a racing line.  He said that the Appeals Body had to make an assessment on the evidence as it is.

Having considered all the evidence, the Appeals Body had addressed the two questions which it is required to do under the Rules.  On the first question the Appeals Body was satisfied that there was material interference which was at least part caused by Duntle.  In so far as the second question was concerned, having regard to the fact that the runner up had to move, in our view quite significantly off the line of racing which had been adopted, and having regard to the very short distance between the winner and the runner up at the end of the race, the Appeals Body was satisfied that interference, in so far as it was caused or attributable to Duntle, did make a difference in accordance with the Rules and in the circumstances the Appeals Body feel that the proper result is that the reversal directed by the Stewards on the day be upheld.  Therefore the appeal is dismissed.

The Appeals Body made no award for costs.

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Wilkinson & Price Solicitors, Naas, Co. Kildare.  David Wachman and the Niarchos Family were represented by Frank Ward, Frank Ward & Company Solicitors, Upper Ormond Quay, Dublin 7.  Wayne Lordan was represented by Andrew Coonan, Coonan Cawley Solicitors, Naas, Co. Kildare.  Sir. Henry Cecil and R.A.H. Evans, trainer and owner of Chachamaidee were represented by Patrick Kennedy, Patrick J. O’Meara & Co. Solicitors, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.


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