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G.N. Fox Referral – Leopardstown, 29th December 2011

The Referrals Committee, Philip Caffrey (in the chair), Martin P. O’Donnell and Mrs. T.K. Cooper met in the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on 23rd January 2012 to consider the referral of G.N. Fox, rider, by the Stewards at Leopardstown on 29th December 2011, following the running of the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Steeplechase, as the Stewards were of the opinion that he was in breach of Regulation R10.

Evidence was heard from G.N. Fox and P.O. Brady, trainer Imperial Shabra.  Recordings of the race were also reviewed.

In his evidence G.N. Fox said that his horse kept responding to pressure and he thought he had a chance of being placed as he was only beaten 2 ½ lengths for second place.  He said he felt that he gave his mount enough time to respond after each hit.

In his evidence P.O. Brady said that G.N. Fox accepted that he had used his whip with excessive frequency and that he was working with him to ensure that his whip style would improve. He said that the rider had made a lot of progress since he joined him and that he accepted his style would have to change.  He reiterated to the Committee what he had mentioned at Mr. Fox’s earlier appeal that the rider would be attending RACE on a regular basis for the next few months for tuition and that he was confident that G.N. Fox would not be in similar trouble again.  He said he was appealing for leniency and he would do everything he could to help.

Having considered the evidence the Committee found that G.N. Fox had used his whip with excessive frequency and was in breach of Regulation R10.  They noted that Mr. Fox had not yet attended RACE to enable him improve his style and taking this into account and the plea for leniency made by Mr. Brady they suspended him for four racedays (16, 18, 19, 22 February).

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

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