Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

John Joseph Murphy/D.E. Splaine Referral

John Joseph Murphy (Trainer) / D.E. Splaine (Rider) Referrals
Wexford – 17th March 2011

The Referrals Committee, Neville O’Byrne (in the Chair), Sean Barry and Mrs. Valerie Cooper met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on 7th April 2011 to consider the referral of John Joseph Murphy and D.E. Splaine following the running of the New Ross Maiden Hurdle at Wexford on 17th March 2011.  The matter had been referred by the Stewards at Wexford as they were unable to enquire into the running and riding of City Line, trained by John Joseph Murphy, as he was not in attendance and neither had he lodged notification of an authorised representative, in accordance with the provisions of Rule 147(v).

Evidence was heard from Liam Walsh (steward’s secretary at Wexford), D.E. Splaine and John Joseph Murphy.

In his evidence Liam Walsh gave details of the background to the calling of the enquiry at Wexford.  He said that Mr. Murphy’s stable employee who was with the horse on the day had told him that she was not authorised to act for Mr. Murphy.  He subsequently spoke to Mr. Murphy by phone, who was in Cheltenham at the time, and explained the situation to him.

D.E. Splaine said that his instructions were to “jump off towards the rear, give plenty of light to the horse at his hurdles and finish as best he could”.  He accepted that he could have finished closer but stated that he wouldn’t have been placed.  He said that he would have ridden the horse handier if he was to ride the race again.

John Joseph Murphy confirmed the instructions given to D.E. Splaine.  He said he felt that the horse was being niggled for most of the race.  He said he was satisfied with the ride given to the horse by D.E. Splaine except for the last 300 yards where he felt he could have ridden more aggressively.  In relation to the non notification of an authorised representative, he accepted that he was in breach of Rule 147(v).

Having considered the evidence, the Committee found D.E. Splaine in breach of Rule 212 and suspended him for two race days (April 21st and 25th).  They accepted the explanations given by John Joseph Murphy.  However, he was fined €200 in respect of the breach of Rule 147(v) as it was his third breach of this rule since 2008.  He was also ordered to pay Turf Club costs of €850 in respect of the hearing.

The case was presented by Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club.  John Joseph Murphy and D.E. Splaine were represented by Andrew Coonan, Coonan Cawley Solicitors, Naas, Co. Kildare.


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