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Conor O'Dwyer (Trainer) Appeal - Dundalk, 16th March 2018

The Appeals Body, (Division 1), Justice Joseph Finnegan (in the Chair), Justice Leonie Reynolds and M.C Hickey met at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) on Thursday, 29th March 2018 to consider the Appeal of Conor O’Dwyer (Trainer) against the decision of the Stewards at Dundalk on 16th March, 2018.

On the day, following the running of the BK Forklifts Handicap, the Stewards enquired into possible interference in the closing stages of the race involving Specific Gravity (FR), placed second and Trump Card, placed first where it appeared that Specific Gravity (FR) was bumped in the straight and carried wide near the finish line by Trump Card.

Having reviewed the recording of the race and considered the evidence, the Stewards were satisfied that Trump Card had caused interference and in doing so had improved his finishing position in relation to Specific Gravity (FR). As a result, the Stewards reversed the placings of the first two horses.

The grounds of Appeal lodged were that the Stewards were incorrect in determining that Trump Card improved his position by causing interference to Specific Gravity (FR).

The Appeals Body considered submissions from Andrew Coonan Solicitor, on behalf of Conor O’Dwyer and from Adrian McGuinness trainer of Specific Gravity (FR).  The Appeals Body also considered a transcript of the original evidence and viewed a recording of the race.

In his submission Andrew Coonan referred to what had occurred. He said that there was interference in the straight and accepted that this interference was caused by Trump Card but submitted that this interference should not have been sufficient for the Stewards to reverse the placings. He stated that the distance between Trump Card and Specific Gravity (FR) was a head at the finish line but that Trump Card was always holding Specific Gravity (FR) after the interference had occurred. In his evidence Adrian McGuinness said that Specific Gravity (FR) was carried wide in the straight as a result of the interference caused by Trump Card and that this prevented Specific Gravity (FR) from running in a straight line.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body found that the decision of the Stewards at Dundalk was justified based on the evidence available and that they could not find any error in the manner in which the Stewards arrived at their determination. In view of this they dismissed the appeal and ordered that the appeal deposit be forfeited.





The case was presented by Cliodhna Guy, Head of Licensing, Legal & Compliance.


Conor O’Dwyer was presented by Andrew Coonan Solicitor of Coonan Cawley Solicitors, Naas, Co. Kildare.

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