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Owner Bates unsuccessful in bid to appeal Dromahane demotion

Owner Billy Bates has been unsuccessful in his appeal to have the decision of the stewards at the Doneraile point-to-point in Dromahane overturned following a hearing at the offices of the IHRB.

Bates’ horse Noreen Bawn, who subsequently sold for €220,000, had crossed the line in front on her debut in the Goffs Punchestown four-year-old mares maiden at the Cork venue in late April, however following a stewards enquiry following the race, the daughter of Jeremy was demoted to second, with Richard Black’s Tucanae instead promoted to race winner.

The full summary of the appeal hearing can be viewed below:

On the day, following the running of the Goffs Punchestown Sale 4-Y-O Mares Maiden Race, the Stewards enquired into possible interference involving Tucanae ridden by Mr. L.J. Murphy, placed second and Noreen Bawn ridden by Mr. M.J. O’Connor, placed first, where it appeared Noreen Bawn caused interference to Tucanae.
 
Having considered the evidence, the Stewards, using their powers under Regulation 32(i)(b), were satisfied that Noreen Bawn had improved her placing in relation to Tucanae as a result of this interference and consequently reversed the placings of those horses.
 
The grounds of Appeal lodged by Mr. Bates were that the Stewards were wrong to conclude that Noreen Bawn had improved her placing as a result of the interference.
 
Evidence was heard from Mr. Bates, Mr. Brian Jordan (Trainer), on behalf of the appellant and Mr. Bernard Smullen, Stewards Secretary on behalf of the IHRB. The Committee were also furnished with a written submission made by Mr. O’Connor. 
 
In his evidence Mr. Bates stated that he had not been at the point the interference was deemed to have occurred but was of the view that Noreen Bawn had spooked at the spectators and had to be corrected by Mr O’Connor. He conceded that the horse had moved across the track but was of the view that the other rider did not have to stop riding or correct his horses’ stride.
 
Mr. Jordan advised that he was watching the race from a side on angle. Mr Jordan stated that in his opinion Noreen Bawn had inconvenienced herself by veering from the crowd and that the best horse won the race on the day.
 
Mr. Smullen stated that he watched the race from the finish line with a head on view of the last fence where the interference occurred. He stated that Noreen Bawn had moved across the track and that manoeuvre had caused Tucanae to move out and resulted in that horse being outside the wing of the fence a couple of strides from the fence with the result that Mr. Murphy had to correct his horse to ensure that he could jump the final fence. 
 
The Appeals Body also viewed a recording of the race but noted that the angle of the footage meant it was of limited assistance.
 
Having considered the evidence, the Appeals Body found on the balance of probabilities that no error had been made in the determination of the enquiry by the Stewards and on that basis dismissed the appeal and confirmed the result as amended by the Stewards to read as follows.
 
First:                 Tucanae
Second:            Noreen Bawn
Third:               Methodtothemagic
Fourth:             At First Glance
 
They ordered that €200 of the deposit be refunded to Mr. Bates.
 

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