Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

W. McCreery Appeal Hearing

W. McCreery (Trainer) Appeal – Curragh, 22nd April 2012

The Appeals Body (Division Two), Judge Tony Hunt (in the Chair), Martin P. O’Donnell and J.R. Craigie met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on 30th April 2012 to consider the appeal of W. McCreery, trainer of Susiescot, against the decision of the Stewards at the Curragh on 22nd April 2012 not to award the Irish Field Handicap to his charge, despite the fact that they found interference had occurred between the winner Cnocan Diva (trained by T. Stack) and Susiescot which finished second, as they were not satisfied that the winner had improved her placing as result of the interference.

Mr. McCreery’s grounds of appeal were that “Susiescot was intimidated as a result of Cnocan Diva drifting across the track at a vital stage of the race which cost my filly the race”.

Evidence was heard from L.F. Roche, rider of Susiescot, W. McCreery, James Stack (representing T. Stack, trainer of Cnocan Diva) and S.A. Gray, rider of Cnocan Diva.  Recordings of the race were also viewed.

In his evidence L.F. Roche stated that Susiescot would have won the race if the winner had not caused interference to her.  He said he could not use his stick in the last 100 yards due to the fact that Cnocan Diva was leaning in.  He said he did not pull his whip through as he was attempting to keep his horse straight.

W. McCreery stated that his horse is a small filly around 15 hands high.  He said it was her first time in a handicap and that she was intimidated in the last 100 yards, which in his opinion cost her the race.  He estimated that she was interfered with for 11 of the 14 strides that she took in the final 100 yards.

James Stack stated that, while there was interference, it didn’t affect the result.  He said Cnocan Diva went from being one and a half lengths down to about a neck up prior to causing the interference.  He said that he felt his filly was always holding Susiescot.  He said Cnocan Diva only ever does just enough to win and that she was pricking her ears as she crossed the finishing line.  He also noted that L.F. Roche had used his stick five or six times on Susiescot before any interference was caused, but that despite this, Cnocan Diva had quickened to lead before the interference took place.

S.A. Gray stated that his filly was the best filly on the day and that she won on merit.

Having considered the evidence the Appeals Body accepted there was interference.  However, as they could not be satisfied that Cnocan Diva improved her placing with regard to Susiescot, they dismissed the appeal.  No costs were awarded to the Turf Club as the Appeals Body accepted that W. McCreery was justified in taking the appeal.

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Wilkinson & Price Solicitors, Naas, Co. Kildare. 


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