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Miss Rita Shah Appeal - Gowran Park, 26th Jan 2012

The Appeals Body (Division Two), John Moloney (in the Chair), Michael Doyle and Peter N. Reynolds met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on 2nd March 2012 to consider the appeal of Miss Rita Shah (owner One Cool Shabra), against the decision of the Stewards at Gowran Park on 26th January 2012 when following the running of the P.J. Foley Memorial Hurdle, One Cool Shabra was not promoted to first place despite the Stewards finding that the winner Burrenbridge Lodge had caused interference to One Cool Shabra. 

The grounds of appeal lodged by Miss Shah were that there was dangerous riding and that One Cool Shabra’s ground was taken, no effort was made to keep Burrenbridge Lodge straight and he kept leaning in.  From the video evidence it is clearly visible that interference took place on a number of occasions after the last which left the rider of One Cool Shabra with no room and having to snatch up his mount.

Evidence was heard from J.L. Cullen, rider of One Cool Shabra, P.O. Brady, trainer of One Cool Shabra, T.J. Doyle, rider of Burrenbridge Lodge and Kieran Purcell, trainer of Burrenbridge Lodge. Recordings of the race were also viewed.

In his evidence, J.L. Cullen said he suffered interference for 14 strides after the last hurdle and that his riding style was restricted as he could not use his whip as he wanted.  He said he would have won the race by one to two lengths but for the interference.

In his evidence P.O. Brady said that the rider of Burrenbridge Lodge made no effort to straighten his horse and that it wasn’t possible for One Cool Shabra to pass Burrenbridge Lodge as he kept getting closed up.  He also referred to a number of previous races where both horses had met and to the respective handicap ratings of the two animals.

In his evidence T.J. Doyle said that he didn’t accept that he caused interference for 14 strides.  He accepted that there was interference but that it lasted for more like seven strides.  He also said that a bend in the rails made it look like he was leaning in more than he actually was.

In his evidence Kieran Purcell said that what happened in previous races had no bearing on the outcome of the Gowran Park race.  While he accepted there was interference, he did not feel that it affected the result.  He also said that the best horse won on the day.

Having considered the evidence the Appeals Body dismissed the appeal but ordered that Mrs. Shah’s appeal deposit be returned.

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Wilkinson & Price Solicitors, Naas, Co. Kildare.

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