Emmet Mullins banned from tracks for three months after Covid-19 protocol breach

Trainer was seen in Leopardstown enclosure last week despite being denied entry

Trainer Emmet Mullins has been fined and banned from all racecourses for three months for breaching Covid-19 protocols. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Trainer Emmet Mullins has been fined and banned from all racecourses for three months for breaching Covid-19 protocols. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

Trainer Emmet Mullins has been fined €5,000 and prohibited from accessing any racecourse for three months after breaching coronavrius health screening protocols at Leopardstown eight days ago.

The stewards on duty at the track on the day heard a report from an Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board security officer that Mullins had been refused permission to enter the enclosure.

That was due to Mullins “failing to present a bar code which was a necessary requirement” to the official on health screening duty at the entrance to the racecourse.

Such barcodes are necessary to get into racecourses as part of Horse Racing Ireland’s protocols for racing to take place behind closed doors. Other measures include having to pass a temperature check.

However, at a later stage that day another security official reported he had seen Mullins, a nephew of champion National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins, collecting his colour bag from outside the weigh-room.

The stewards were also told that security personnel in the stable yard had not seen Mullins in that area during the course of the meeting.

CCTV footage was also seen of the parade ring both before and after the third race, the Savel Beg Levmoss Stakes, in which Mullins’s runner, Oriental Eagle, finished sixth.

The stewards referred the matter on to the IHRB chief executive for further investigation.

On Monday, a referrals hearing found Mullins in breach of Rule 272(i) and he was fined €5,000 and “prohibited from accessing a racecourse for three months for accessing Leopardstown without completing necessary requirements.”

It is the first breach of the extensive protocol system which has been in place since Irish racing resumed behind closed doors on June 8th.

“It is a very serious breach of the protocols for the resumption of racing. Such a breach cannot be tolerated in the current climate,” an IHRB spokesman said.

“It is imperative the whole industry works together to keep racing safe by completing the health-screening process and doing so in what is an honest manner adhering to the protocols and directions on race-day.

“This is what is necessary to keep racing going and complacency cannot be tolerated,” he added.

Just three days after his run at Leopardstown, Oriental Eagle gave Mullins one of the biggest victories in his short training career when winning the Listed Martin Molony Stakes at Limerick under jockey Rachael Blackmore.

Defy the years

Tuesday’s Irish action takes place at Navan where Willie Mullins and Seamus Heffernan will team up for Cool Colonnade’s return to the flat in the finale.

Earlier the veteran Doonard Prince can defy the years and record a 10th career victory in one of the sprint handicaps.

Ross O’Sullivan’s 11-year-old is already a triple-course and distance winner and showed plenty of his old fire at Naas earlier this month when runner-up to Nordic Passage.

That was on quick going and the easier surface at Navan should suit Doonard Prince even more.

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