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John J. Hanlon Appeal Leopardstown 27 Dec 2013

The Appeals Body (Division Two) Judge Tony Hunt (in the chair), Peter Reynolds and Mrs. J O. Onions met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on Friday 3rd January 2014 to consider the appeal of John J. Hanlon, trainer of Hidden Cyclone. The appeal was against the decision of the Stewards at Leopardstown on 27th December 2013 not to promote his horse to first place following the running of the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Steeplechase.  The Stewards had held an enquiry into possible interference after the last fence involving Hidden Cyclone and the winner Benefficient, but left the result unchanged.

The grounds of appeal lodged by John J. Hanlon was that the interference cost his horse the race.

Evidence was heard from Andrew McNamara, rider of Hidden Cyclone, Bryan Cooper, rider of Benefficient and Ruby Walsh, rider of Arvika Ligeonniere (FR).Film of the race was also viewed.

In his evidence, Andrew McNamara outlined the interference that was caused to his horse as a result of Benefficient drifting left. He said Hidden Cyclone went from being three quarters of a length down to two and a half lengths down, lost his momentum and only got going again 70 yards from the finish. He said the deficit was reduced from this point all the way to the line where he was only beaten three quarters of a length. He said his horse would have won but for the interference caused.

In his evidence Bryan Cooper said that his mount was over a length clear when he drifted across and also said that he did not cause interference or impede Hidden Cyclone. He said he was going away from Hidden Cyclone at the time. He also said that Andrew McNamara did not have to stop riding at any time. He concluded by saying that Benefficient was idling when he hit the front which was why the winning distance was only three quarters of a length and that his mount would have gone on again if another horse came to him.

In his evidence Ruby Walsh said he wasn’t involved in the interference and outlined what he saw.

Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body found that, while there was minimal interference, they were satisfied it did not affect the result. As such the appeal was dismissed and they ordered that the appeal deposit be forfeited to cover Turf Club costs.

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Solicitor, Naas, Co. Kildare.  John J. Hanlon was represented by Stephen Lanigan O’Keeffe S.C.  A.J. Martin, trainer of Benefficient, was represented by Eugene Gleeson S.C. instructed by Frank Ward, Solicitor, Frank Ward & Co., Solicitors, Dublin 7.

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