Davy Russell faces referrals committee hearing in Killarney

Former Champion Jockey has three rides on final day of festival

The last card of Killarney's August festival kicks off 90 minutes before Kerry's All-Ireland football semi-final replay against Mayo and 90 minutes before that first race Davy Russell will face a Referrals Committee hearing into last week's controversial Tramore incident he appeared to punch a horse.

The stewards panel will decide if Russell was in breach of Rule 272(i) relating to conduct or behaviour prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct or good reputation of horse racing.

A video circulated on social media last week appeared to show the former champion jockey punching Kings Dolly in the head after approaching a show obstacle prior to her run in a handicap hurdle at Tramore. The incident was not picked up on by the race-day stewards but the Turf Club subsequently launched an investigation.

"He has a case to answer on what we saw on the video. It is up to the Committee to decide if he's in breach of the rules," the Turf Club's chief executive Denis Egan said on Friday.


Later Russell is set for three rides on Saturday’s Killarney card including Conrad Hastings in a competitive novice chase where Rathvinden could struggle to confirm Galway form with Peregrine Run on better ground.

Killarney's feature is a €50,000 handicap chase which has attracted a cross-channel raider in the Donald McCain trained Lofgren. Back in trip after running in the Galway Plate Deans Road looks an interesting contender given he's going left-handed and Ruby Walsh has been booked to ride for the first time.

The Willie Mullins team could enjoy anther fruitful day in the Kingdom as Bamako Moriviere can make it third time lucky over fences while Poet Power and the newcomer Koroleva may dominate the two bumpers. Mullins's nephew Danny can also keep his good run on board Miss Sapphire going in the novice hurdle.

In the midst of the Killarney action Ivan Grozny gets another chance to give the champion jumps trainer a second win in York’s Ebor Handicap. The horse was ante-post favourite for the prestigious handicap a year ago but missed the race due to lameness.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column