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Kinsale Disqualification Proves Crucial in Novice Title Outcome

Kinsale Disqualification Proves Crucial in Novice Title Outcome

The Novice Rider title provided plenty of drama over the course of the final weeks of the season, with the showdown between Shane Fitzgerald and Liam Quinlan only being decided on the final weekend of the campaign.

However, that has proved not to be the end to the drama in that particular title race, as O’Hanrahan’s Bridge, who provided Fitzgerald with one of his crucial two winners at Kinsale last month, has been disqualified following a hearing at the Turf Club.

The Shay Slevin-trained son of Gold Well was found to have tested positive for a prohibited substance in tests which were taken immediately after that victory in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden at the Co. Cork venue.

In his evidence to the Turf Club, Wexford-based Slevin stated that he could not account for how the prohibited substance in question, dexamethasone, could have appeared in the horses system.

He explained that his son was a veterinary surgeon and that he was responsible for the administration of medication to horses in his care.  He also explained that there was no medication kept on his premises.

In her evidence Dr. Lynn Hillyer, the Turf Club Chief Veterinary Officer, explained to the Committee that dexamethasone was a corticosteroid medication which was legitimately used in horses as an analgesic with anti-inflammatory properties.  It was commonly used and as such had been the subject of research in the past to set an International Screening Limit, linked with published Detection Times. 

During the investigation into the adverse analytical finding, there was no reference in the medicines register to suggest that any horse in Mr. Slevin’s care had been administered this medication or any medication that bore any relation to dexamethasone was recorded and no source of the finding could be identified.

Having considered the evidence the Committee were satisfied that Shay Slevin was in breach of Rules 96 and 148 (iii) and taking all circumstances into account fined him €1,000.  They stressed that responsibility rested with him to ensure that he complies with the provisions of Regulation R14.  

The Committee disqualified O’Hanrahan Bridge from first place which results in the Tom Keating-trained De Name Evades Me being awarded with the race, which now ensures that his rider Barry O’Neill finishes the season with an additional winner, that could have proved crucial under different circumstances.

The amended result for the Kinsale contest now reads as:

First:                      De Name Evades Me,

Second:                Duhallow Tornado,

Third:                    Double Dipper.

That ensures that both Shane Fitzgerald and Liam Quinlan end the season on 12-winners, and are now joint-winners of the Racing Post Novice Rider award.


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