Kinane annoyed over suspension

 

Michael Kinane picked up a two-day ban for failing to weigh in after a race at Leopardstown yesterday but is free to ride Second Empire in Saturday week's Breeders' Cup Mile.

It was a close run thing, however. There are just two flat meetings remaining in Ireland, on November 6th and 8th, for which Kinane is suspended, but the Breeders' Cup is sandwiched neatly in between on the 7th.

Kinane failed to weigh in after finishing fourth on the favourite, High King, in the mile maiden. The colt was disqualified to last and Kinane was not pleased with his suspension.

"It's a travesty, a disgraceful decision. The punishment doesn't fit the crime. The only money lost was the £400 fourth prizemoney. It had no effect on the betting," Kinane said.

Kinane told the stewards' enquiry his not weighing in was an oversight and that he was rushing to do a television interview. The stewards suspended him, however, and ordered Kinane to forfeit his riding fee.

It was a disappointing end to day that Kinane started in winning form on Aidan O'Brien's Moiseyev in the opening maiden.

However, the well-touted Ballydoyle newcomer, Saffron Waldon, a 1.2 million guineas buy, was beaten by Athlumney Lady in the Group Three Bord Gais Killavullan Stakes, and the 650,000 guineas High King also looked as if he will learn from his experience behind Franchetti.

Athlumney Lady made all in the feature and quickened off a slow pace to beat Saffron Waldon by a length and a half. A drifter in the market, Saffron Waldon took a hold in the early stages but was running on well in the last 100 yards.

"I thought Saffron Waldon ran a lovely race," was O'Brien's verdict. "It was a messy race with no pace and he only got going in the last 200 yards. It took a long time for the penny to drop with him. We think he will be an exciting 12furlong horse next year."

In contrast, Jim Bolger thinks seven furlongs is as far as Athlumney Lady wants to go and he added: "She didn't like the tacky ground last time but I expected her to run a good race today."

The listed Trigo Stakes produced an excellent finish when another front-runner Golden Rule beat Catch The Dragon by a head. This time, the pacesetter was actually headed but under a fine drive from Stephen Craine, Golden Rule fought back, and will now go hurdling.

"He should win a maiden hurdle at his ease and it would be nice to bring him back here for the Dennys at Christmas," said trainer Frances Crowley, who was winning her first black type race on the flat. "I don't know about the Triumph Hurdle as it is a very hard race but he will be back on the flat next year."

Crowley saddled a double at Galway yesterday and did the same here when Supreme Gold won the bumper. The winner's rider Brian Crowley got a 10-day ban, however, for using his whip with excessive force and frequency.

The stewards were also in action after Calamander's victory in the mile handicap. Apprentice David Mason got five days for careless riding on the unplaced General Collins and his fellow apprentice Steven Curtis got four days, also for careless riding, on another unplaced horse, Rosarium.

Trainer Walter Dennis is hoping that Coome Hill's (Jamie Osborne) outing in the John Durkan Leukaemia Trust Handicap Chase at Ascot on Saturday will show that he has been revitalised by a soft palate operation. Dennis said: "He's fit and well."