Turf Club to review Townend's three-day ban over fears of leniency
RACING:THE TURF Club has instructed its Referrals Committee to review the three-day suspension handed to former champion jockey Paul Townend at Roscommon last week on the basis that it was unduly lenient.
The Roscommon stewards held an inquiry after Townend finished third on Mulleady in a maiden hurdle nine days ago when giving the impression he was hitting the Tony Martin-trained runner with the whip but never actually making contact.
The inquiry decided Townend’s actions were “conduct and behaviour prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct and good reputation of horse racing”.
Townend admitted in the inquiry to giving the horse a bad ride by giving her too much to do and the stewards stated that but for his good disciplinary record he would have received a longer suspension.
Meanwhile, Curragh manager Paul Hensey is anticipating soft ground for this weekend’s Darley Irish Oaks meeting.
The fillies’ Classic takes centrestage on Sunday with the likes of Aidan O’Brien’s Epsom winner Was and runner-up Shirocco Star, as well as the John Gosden-trained Great Heavens, amongst the entries.
Further rain at the track has seen the ground turn heavy, but Hensey is expecting conditions to improve as better weather is forecast. “We had 5.5 millimetres of rain last night so we have changed the ground to heavy this morning,” he told At The Races.
“The forecast is for better weather from now until the weekend so hopefully we will get some good weather and the ground will improve.
“I think the likelihood is that we will possibly be on soft ground.”
Joseph O’Brien took the outright lead in the Irish jockeys’ title race after making it a remarkable 11th success in the space of a week at Killarney last night.
O’Brien, who scored on Imperial Monarch in the Group One Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp at the weekend, struck on Beach Of Falesa at Leopardstown last Thursday and has not looked back.
The latest win was a 12-length success on favourite Chamonix in the Sika Signs Maiden, but hopes of a double were dashed when the aforementioned Beach Of Falesa was beaten in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap.
O’Brien leads the Irish championship on 38 wins from six-time champion Pat Smullen and Wayne Lordan on 37 each.