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Declan Queally (Trainer) and Mr. D.L. Queally (Rider) Referral – Fairyhouse 16th January 2021

The Referrals Committee, Mr. Sean Barry (in the chair) Mr. Stephen Collins and Mr. John Martin-Smith convened at Naas Racecourse on 28th February 2021 to consider the Referral of Declan Queally (Trainer) and Mr. D.L. Queally (Rider) following the running and riding of Merry Doyenne at Fairyhouse on 16th January 2021.

On the day, the Stewards were unable to complete the enquiry due to the Trainer failing to make his Authorised Representative fully aware of the riding instructions.

At the Referral Hearing, evidence was heard from Mr. D.L. Queally, Mr. Michael Grassick, Irish Racehorse Trainers Association, and Mr. Declan Queally (via Zoom). The committee also viewed a recording of the race.

In his evidence, Mr. D.L. Queally explained his role working for his father and the training routines at his father’s training establishment. In relating to the race at Fairyhouse, Mr. D.L. Queally stated that his father didn’t train Merry Doyenne for long prior to this race and she was a big, raw mare. He added that the mare was as fit as she could be on the day and travelled well throughout the race but made a noise at the third last hurdle and again in the home straight after which he held his mount together to get home on the very testing ground conditions. Mr. D.L Queally accepted that he could have been seen to make more of an effort but put this down to his lack of fitness as he had not been riding out for over two months and that he was quite weak from dieting over that weekend. As a result of this he got very tired himself in the latter stages of the race.

In his evidence, Mr. Grassick confirmed his knowledge of the Queally family and their training routines, which he stated would be similar to any father/son working partnership in a training premises.

In his evidence, Mr. Declan Queally confirmed the background to obtaining the horse to train. He admitted to having concerns to the fitness of his son and in his opinion this lack of fitness was a contributing factor to him not being able to obtain a closer finishing position on Merry Doyenne in this race, however he felt it was important that his son returned to riding at this time.

Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee were satisfied that both Trainer and Rider were in breach of Rule 212(a)(ii) in that the horse was not seen to have been the subject of a genuine attempt to obtain from the horse a timely, real and substantial efforts to achieve the best possible place. The Committee fined Mr. Declan Queally €2,000, suspended Mr. D.L. Queally for 10 days and suspended Merry Doyenne for 42 days. Furthermore, Mr. Declan Queally was fined €130 under Rule 147 for not making his Authorised Representative aware of the riding instructions. 

The case was presented by Mr. Liam Walsh, Stipendiary Steward.

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