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Result of an appeal (A Jordan) and enquiries (T O'Brien, Musselburgh Racecourse) heard by the Disciplinary Panel on Thursday 21 May

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Alan Jordan

1. The Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on Thursday 21 May 2015 considered an appeal lodged by Mr Alan Jordan, the owner of NELLIES QUEST, against the decision of the Worcester Stewards on 7 May 2015 to find NELLIES QUEST, ridden by Brendan Powell Jnr, had accidentally interfered with GIVEAGIRLACHANCE (IRE), placed second, in the Post Your Bets at Mares’ Maiden Hurdle Race (Div 2), and that the interference had improved NELLIES QUEST’s placing and to reverse the placings.

2. The enquiry before the Panel took the form (as always in such cases) of a rehearing rather than a review of the Worcester decision. The BHA’s case was presented by Lyn Williams with evidence given by Andrew Thornton, the rider of GIVEAGIRLACHANCE (IRE). Brendan Powell Snr presented Mr Jordan’s Appeal with Brendan Powell Jnr, the rider of NELLIES QUEST, giving evidence on his behalf. The Panel also viewed recordings of the race.

3. The BHA submitted that the accidental interference caused by NELLIES QUEST on GIVEAGIRLACHANCE (IRE) took the mare off its intended line thereby causing Thornton to lose momentum and to re-balance the mare. The BHA contended that once balanced GIVEAGIRLACHANCE (IRE) made up substantial ground on NELLIES QUEST, only to be beaten by a nose. The BHA further submitted that had the interference not occurred GIVEAGIRLACHANCE (IRE) would have beaten NELLIES QUEST.

4. Powell Snr accepted that accidental interference had occurred, but said that the momentum lost by GIVEAGIRLACHANCE (IRE) was negligible and did not affect the result.

Powell Snr pointed out that the run in at Worcester racecourse, approximately 1½ furlongs from the last hurdle to the line, gave GIVEAGIRLACHANCE (IRE) time to respond, and if good enough, was capable of passing NELLIES QUEST, which Powell Snr stated had picked up again before the winning post.

5. The Panel concluded that NELLIES QUEST had caused accidental interference with GIVEAGIRLACHANCE (IRE), in that, over the last hurdle NELLIES QUEST took GIVEAGIRLACHANCE (IRE) off her intended line, as a result the mare faltered on landing causing her to lose ground and momentum.

6. On landing after the last hurdle Powell Jnr was able to get his horse running quicker, unlike Thornton who, following the accidental interference, took time to re-balance his horse. Having lost more than a length Thornton was able to regain the lost ground only to be beaten by a nose on the line. The Panel was satisfied that the interference improved the placing of NELLIES QUEST in relation to GIVEAGIRLACHANCE (IRE) to which it had caused interference.

7. The Panel dismissed Mr Jordan’s appeal and confirmed the placings. It ordered the deposit to be returned.

Tom O’Brien

The Disciplinary Panel of the BHA held an enquiry on Thursday 21 May 2015 into the breath sample provided by Tom O’Brien, a licensed jockey, at Stratford-upon-Avon racecourse on 19 April 2015.

O’Brien’s sample was found to contain alcohol in a concentration above the threshold level permitted under Schedule (D)3 of the Rules of Racing headed “Banned substances and notifiable medications”.

Having considered the evidence, the Panel accepted an admission from Tom O’Brien, in his absence, that he was in breach of Rule (D)66. Taking into account that the level of alcohol found was 24 mgs/100ml of breath, which fell within the range of the ‘Lower Level’, and that this was O’Brien’s first offence, the Panel cautioned him against providing a finding above the threshold level for alcohol in the future. It also pointed out to O’Brien that a second breach of this nature within 24 months would lead to a much more serious outcome.

Musselburgh Racecourse

The Disciplinary Panel of the BHA on Thursday  21 May 2015 held an enquiry to consider whether or not the Musselburgh Joint Racing Committee, the Managing Executive of Musselburgh Racecourse had committed a breach of Rule (F)15.3.9 of the Rules of Racing, in the light of BHA General Instruction 4.1 (para 1), headed ‘Standard For Camera Patrol And Technical Facilities For Stewards’, in that the fun fair the Executive allowed to be set up on the stand-side of the course (approximately 1½ furlongs from the finish) partially obscured the Stewards’ side-on camera coverage of the races on 3 April and 5 April 2015 and thereby compromised the camera patrol integrity coverage provided on both days.

The Panel heard submissions from Lyn Williams on behalf of the BHA, Bill Farnsworth, Musselburgh General Manager and Harriet Graham, Clerk of the Course.

Having considered the evidence the Panel found the Musselburgh Joint Racing Committee in breach of Rule (F)15.3.9 and fined the Executive £2500. Full written reasons from the Panel will follow in due course.

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