O’Leary rears up on racing bosses

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has come out swinging in a showdown with racing authorities over the frequency of late changes by his Gigginstown House Stud to runners and riders.

Stewards at Cork recently referred one late change to an O'Leary mount to the Turf Club. Gigginstown apparently has a propensity for last-minute amendments. At Fairyhouse last week, stewards suspended another O'Leary horse – Devil's Bride, which sounds like a reference to Christophe Mueller of Aer Lingus – for two days after they refused to accept a late change on the grounds that the going had changed.

O'Leary responded rather deliciously this week in the Racing Post: "You would swear we were some bunch of spivs running around organising betting coups. We don't punt our own horses, I have no interest in that..."

Warming to his theme, he continued: "If we don't get [the Fairyhouse decision] overturned at the Turf Club, we'll go to the High Court. For some steward to say that there wasn't sufficient change in the going is pure rubbish. Is there a rule or not? Or can these people just make it up as they go along?" Sounds just like the old days, when O'Leary was giving it to all and sundry on behalf of Ryanair. He must miss all that now.