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W.P. Mullins Referral – Limerick, 14 Oct 2012

The Referrals Committee Philip Caffrey (in the chair), Hugh M. Ferguson and Sean Barry met at the Turf Club, Curragh, Co. Kildare on Monday, 17th December 2012, to consider the referral of W.P. Mullins, trainer, following the late withdrawal of the Themoonandsixpence from the Ladbrokes Munster National Handicap Steeplechase at Limerick on Sunday, 14th October 2012, due to the change in ground conditions.  The matter had been referred to the Referrals Committee by Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club, as the Stewards at Limerick were unable to deal with the matter on the day, as  neither W.P. Mullins nor his authorised representative were present when the enquiry was called after the withdrawal.

Evidence was head from Patrick Mullins (representing W.P. Mullins) and Val O’Connell, Clerk of the Course at Limerick Racecourse.

In his evidence, Patrick Mullins said that Themoonandsixpence had been off the track for over two years prior to its run at Listowel in September where the horse had run disappointingly.  He said they didn’t want to risk the horse on unsuitable ground and that the animal was withdrawn on the advice of Ruby Walsh, who had ridden him in the previous races.  He apologised for any inconvenience caused and accepted that there was a breach of Rule 194(iv) (a).

In his evidence, Val O’Connell said that on the day the chase track was fresh ground that hadn’t been raced on for 10 weeks.  He said that no further rain had fallen after the ground update that was issued at 11.06am.  However, he did accept that the ground may have become a little tacky due to the drying conditions.  He also said that the race times did not indicate that the ground was very heavy and that the times were faster than the times recorded for races over similar distances on similar ground at the track at subsequent meetings.

Having considered the evidence and taken into account W.P. Mullins’s record, the Committee imposed a fine of €320.

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Solicitor, Naas, Co. Kildare.

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