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W.J. Lee (Rider) Appeal – The Curragh 26th July 2020

The Appeals Body (Division 2) Mr. N.B. Wachman (in the chair) Mr. John Powell and Mr. Noel McCaffrey convened at Tipperary Racecourse on 11th August 2020 to consider the Appeal of W.J. Lee (Rider) against the decision of the Stewards at The Curragh on 26th July 2020.


On the day, following the running of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden, the Stewards found Mr. Lee in breach of Rule 214, in that he had ridden carelessly, and they suspended him for two racedays. The grounds of the appeal lodged by Mr. Lee was that he did not ride in a manner that breached Rule 214.


Evidence was heard from Mr. Lee and the Appeals Body also watched a recording of the race.


In his evidence, Mr. Lee stated that his mount, Thunder Beauty (IRE), was making her racecourse debut but he was familiar with the filly having ridden her previously on numerous occasions in her work. He outlined how Thunder Beauty (IRE) was very straightforward and had travelled well and given him no problems in the early stages of the race, however, just inside the final furlong she began to resent the straight-bar bit in her mouth and roll on top of Harannda (IRE) and Oisin Orr slightly. Mr. Lee added that he then straightened his mount up and having lost some momentum he gave her a flick with his whip to go and win her race but she again got a bit tight with Harannda (IRE). He felt at no stage did he take Mr. Orr’s ground and the fact that Harannda (IRE) is a small filly made the incident look worse than it actually was.


Having considered the evidence the Appeals Body could not find any error with the decision of the Stewards on the day as they were also of the opinion that Mr. Lee was in breach of Rule 214, in that he had ridden carelessly, and they confirmed the suspension of two racedays. They ordered that the deposit be forfeited and that the dates of suspension should begin on Friday 14th of August due to declarations already being closed for both Wednesday 12thof August and Thursday 13th August.


The case was presented by Mr. Paul Murtagh, INHSC Registrar. Mr. Lee was represented by Patrick Kennedy of Patrick J. O’Meara & Co. Solicitors, Liberty Square, Thurles, Co Tipperary.


Suspension Dates: 14th and 15th August 2020

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