Aidan O’Brien to appeal ‘non-trier’ penalties over Music Box

Trainer fined €2,000 after horse finished behind stable companion Asking at Dundalk

 

An appeal by Aidan O’Brien against the penalties imposed under controversial new “non-trier” rules over the running and riding of Music Box at Dundalk on Friday night is set to be heard next week.

The champion trainer was fined €2,000 after the Wayne Lordan-ridden Music Box finished third to her stable companion Asking in a maiden. Lordan was suspended for five days while the Coolmore Stud-owned horse was banned for 42 days.

All the penalties – which O’Brien has described as “bizarre” – are being appealed and a Turf Club spokesman has indicated the hearings will take place at some stage next week.

‘Rule 212’

The regulatory body’s new “rule 212” came into force in January and eight “non-trier” penalties have been issued since then.

Three have already been appealed, although only trainer Matthew Smith was successful in appealing against the €2,000 fine imposed following the run of his horse, Theturnofthesun, at Gowran last month.

Separately, the Turf Club’s chief executive Denis Egan has said an expansion of the regulatory body’s drug testing programme to include stud farms could be in place within a matter months.

Protocol

Prolonged discussions between the Turf Club and the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association about a protocol to allow testing on unlicensed premises have resulted in draft rules being drawn up.

“They are with the ITBA and they are getting their legal team to look at them,” Egan said on Monday.

“I would hope there can be agreement sooner rather than later. But even with agreement the practicalities of carrying out any testing will have to be organised. Nevertheless, I would be very disappointed if we’re not testing within a few months. And if agreement is reached, maybe even quicker than that,” he added.

Such a protocol was a key recommendation of last year’s anti-doping task force report which was set up after a series of steroid controversies which included high-profile trainer Philip Fenton being “warned off” for three years.

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