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John J. Walsh (Trainer) Appeal – Limerick 19th April 2021

The Appeals Body (Division 2) Mr. N.B. Wachman (in the chair), Mrs. Caroline Corballis and Ms. Kate Horgan convened at Tipperary Racecourse on Thursday 6th May 2021 to consider the appeal of John J. Walsh (Trainer) against the decision of the Stewards at Limerick on 19th April 2021.

On the day, following the running of the Crecora Mares Maiden Hurdle, the Stewards found Mr. Walsh, trainer of Delightfantastic, in breach of Rule 212A(ii) in that Delightfantastic was not seen to have been the subject of a genuine attempt to achieve the best possible placing and fined Mr. Walsh €3,000 and suspended Delightfantastic for 60 days.

The grounds of appeal lodged by Mr. Walsh were that the Stewards on the day erred in their decision.

At the Appeal Hearing, evidence was heard from Mr. Walsh. The committee also watched a recording of the race.

In his evidence, Mr. Walsh stated that he was never satisfied with the efforts of his rider on the day, Mr. Ambrose McCurtin. He outlined that due to circumstances on the day he was unable to make this clear to the Stewards but confirmed that he felt the horse was given a bad ride and this was partly as a consequence of Mr. McCurtin doing lighter weights on the same card and therefore not being as strong as this horse needed. He also suggested that Mr. McCurtin had been further back than he would have expected. Mr. Walsh added that Delightfantastic’s form was moderate in both Point to Point’s and in bumpers and that she was a difficult horse to ride.

Having considered the evidence, Mr. Wachman stated that the Appeals Body accepted, due to circumstances on the day, that Mr. Walsh was not given adequate opportunity to declare his dissatisfaction to the Stewards at the initial enquiry and having considered his evidence on this occasion the Appeals Body were satisfied Mr. Walsh was not in breach of Rule 212A(ii) and allowed the appeal. Furthermore, they noted the acceptance of Mr. McCurtin that he was in breach of Rule 212A(ii) but in light of mitigating factors reduced the suspension of Delightfantastic to 50 days.

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

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