Laois trainer Duffy fined €1,000


RACING:It’s a long way from running at Royal Ascot to being sold for €1,000 at the side of the road in Roscrea.

But that’s the route taken by Hayzoom whose appearance in an unofficial “flapping” race contributed to trainer Shane Duffy being left €1,500 out of pocket at the Turf Club yesterday.

Hayzoom was sold as a young horse for 80,000 guineas, and a Chepstow winner just two years ago for classic trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam, Hayzoom was the centre of attention at a Turf Club Referrals Committee hearing yesterday.

An official from the regulatory body visited Duffy’s Co Laois yard in September and found Hayzoom was not present despite having been returned in training four days previously.

The committee also inquired into how the horse was entered for a hurdle race at Listowel that month despite having run in an “unrecognised meeting” or a “flap” as such meetings are known.


In evidence, the Turf Club’s Michael O’Donoghue said Duffy was of the view he wasn’t responsible for anything the horse may have done prior to coming under his care. He said Mr Duffy accepted he had bought the horse for €1,000 from men he described as “being involved in flapping” but he didn’t know for definite the horse had taken part in unrecognised meetings, even though he also accepted numerous people had told him that the horse had taken part in flappers.

He also said Duffy told him he had not taken delivery of the horse until the morning of the official’s yard inspection when he met with the horse’s previous owners, who handed the horse over to him on the roadside, near Roscrea.

In his evidence Duffy said he entered the horse at Listowel to get a handicap mark. He further stated he did not know the horse had been flapping even though the horse was bought from pony racing men. He accepted the horse was never under his care in advance of the inspection at his yard.

The committee accepted what happened was done through “negligence rather than anything more serious” but fined Duffy €1,000 and ordered him to pay €500 towards the Turf Club’s costs.

The total is more than the trainer paid for a horse that ran in the 2010 renewal of the King George Handicap at Royal Ascot and was once ridden by jockey Frankie Dettori in 2011. Hayzoom was subsequently bought last year by trainer Charlie Swan for 9,000 guineas, before his value apparently tumbled further.

Mullins fined €320

It was a busy day at Turf Club HQ yesterday as champion National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins was fined €320 for the late withdrawal of Themoonandsixpence from October’s Munster National at Limerick due to a change in ground conditions.

Mullins’s son Patrick 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 previous races.

In his evidence Limerick’s clerk of the course Val O’Connell said that on the day the chase track was fresh ground that hadn’t been raced on for 10 weeks. However, he accepted the ground may have become a little tacky due to the drying conditions. He also said the race times did not indicate 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 Mullins’s record, the committee imposed a €320 fine.

At another hearing Co Wicklow trainer Philip Rothwell was fined €400 and ordered to pay €200 costs after bringing the wrong horse to Gowran Park races last month. The horse, Paddy Wicklow, had to be withdrawn as the racecourse vet was unable to identify the animal. Rothwell said he only realised that he had the wrong passport when the horse could not be positively identified.

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