Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

W.P. Mullins (Trainer) Appeal - Fairyhouse, 2nd April, 2018

The Appeals Body (Division Two), N.B. Wachman (in the chair), Philip Caffrey and T.L. Crawford met at the Stewards Room, Punchestown Racecourse, Co. Kildare on Tuesday 24th April, 2018 to consider the appeal of W.P. Mullins (Trainer) against the decision of the Stewards at Fairyhouse on 2nd April, 2018.

On the day, following the running of the BoyleSports Irish Grand National Steeplechase, the Stewards enquired into possible interference at the final fence involving Bellshill, placed fourth ridden by D.J. Mullins, and Folsom Blue, placed fifth ridden by R.M. Power, where it appeared that Bellshill hung to the left causing Arkwrisht (FR) and Folsom Blue to check.

Having viewed a recording of the race and considered the evidence, the Stewards were of the opinion that while the interference was accidental in nature it was significant enough to improve Bellshill’s finishing position in relation to Folsom Blue. As a result, they reversed the finishing position of both.

The grounds of appeal lodged by W.P. Mullins were that the Stewards erred in their decision.

Evidence was heard from R.M. Power and D.J. Mullins. The Appeals Body also considered the transcript of the original enquiry and reviewed film footage of the incident.

In his evidence, R.M. Power said that his horse was doing his best work towards the end of the race and was responding to pressure. He said that he would have won the race with a clear run. He estimated that he made up over three lengths on Bellshill after the incident to cut the deficit to ¾ of a length at the line and the fact that he made up so much ground was indicative of how much his horse had left. 

In his evidence, D.J. Mullins said that his horse was going well coming to the last and idled as he approached the fence with the result that he went left. He said that Bellshill was always going to finish in front of Folsom Blue.

Closing submissions were made by Patrick Kennedy and Paul Murtagh.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body dismissed the appeal and confirmed the result as amended by the Stewards.

First:           General Principle

Second:      Isleofhopendreams

Third:         Forever Gold

Fourth:       Folsom Blue

Fifth:          Bellshill

Sixth:         Arkwrisht

 

They also ordered that the appeal deposit be forfeited.

The case was presented by Paul Murtagh, Head of Raceday Operations.  W.P. Mullins was represented by Patrick Kennedy, P.J. O’Meara & Co. Solicitors, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.


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