Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Stuart Crawford Appeal Navan 13 Dec 2013

The Appeals Body (Division Two) N.B. Wachman (in the chair), J.R. Craigie and Colin Magnier met at the Turf Club, Curragh, Co Kildare on Friday, 20th December 2013 to consider the appeal of Stuart Crawford, trainer of Fine Rightly. The appeal was against the decision of the Stewards at Navan on 15th December 2013 not to promote his horse to first place following the running of the ‘Future Champions’ Flat Race.  The Stewards had held an enquiry into possible interference inside the final furlong involving Fine Rightly and the winner Royal Caviar but left the result unchanged. The grounds of appeal lodged by Stuart Crawford were that there was interference which cost his horse the race.

Evidence was heard from Stuart Crawford, Steven Crawford, rider of Fine Rightly and Patrick Mullins, rider of Royal Caviar.  Film of the race was also viewed.

In his evidence Stuart Crawford said that he thought Fine Rightly would win as he was a horse with loads of stamina and was well suited by the testing conditions at Navan.  He said that interference cost his horse the race as it caused him to lose momentum on heavy ground when he was just a half a length behind Royal Caviar.

In his evidence, Steven Crawford said that his horse was responding to pressure when the interference occurred.  He said he had to take evasive action to stop his horse going out through the rail which resulted in him having to snatch up.  He said his horse received two significant bumps and that if Royal Caviar kept his racing line he was in no doubt that he would have finished in front of him.  He said he couldn’t make up the ground lost after the interference.  He also said that Royal Caviar had produced little when Patrick Mullins asked him to go on.

In his evidence, Patrick Mullins said that he had come from behind and was upsides Fine Rightly under a hands and heels ride.  He said his mount had just gone half a length clear when the horse went violently left as he was pulling his whip through.  He said the interference was unintentional and that his horse stretched clear after it occurred.  He said his horse had plenty left and referred to the fact that he had already won a bumper over 2 miles 2 furlongs and a point-to-point over 3 miles, so stamina or staying was not an issue.  He concluded by saying that he was on the best horse and while there was interference, it didn’t improve his placing in relation to the horse he interfered with.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body said they were satisfied that, on the balance of probability, but for the interference Fine Rightly would have finished in front of Royal Caviar.  The panel therefore ordered the result to be amended and to read as follows: First:  Fine Rightly Second:  Royal Caviar Third:  Desertmore Stream Fourth: Perfect Promise

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Solicitor, Naas, Co. Kildare.  Stuart Crawford was represented by Stephen Lanigan O’Keeffe S.C.  Patrick Reidy, Solicitor, Reidy Stafford, Solicitors, Newbridge, Co. Kildare acted as legal assessor.


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