Ted Walsh awaiting Turf Club judgment into Foxrock case

Mr Justice Tony Hunt chairs marathon hearing featuring almost nine hours of legal argument

Trainer  Ted Walsh is awaiting the judgment of the Turf Club’s Referrals Committee. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Trainer Ted Walsh is awaiting the judgment of the Turf Club’s Referrals Committee. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

Trainer and RTÉ racing pundit Ted Walsh is awaiting the judgment of the Turf Club’s Referrals Committee into the reopened case of the running and riding of Foxrock at Punchestown in December.

A marathon hearing at Turf Club HQ on Saturday saw the committee, chaired by Mr Justice Tony Hunt, reserve judgment after hearing almost nine hours of legal argument and evidence.

Walsh was legally represented by former minister for justice Michael McDowell in a case reopened due to video evidence which appears to show Foxrock wearing both front shoes immediately after the Weatherbys Handicap Chase in which he finished third.

A steward’s inquiry on the day at Punchestown heard a veterinary report that the Walsh-trained horse was slightly lame afterwards, and that Foxrock had lost his front shoes during the race.

Evidence was heard from 19 witnesses on Saturday.

Twelve of those were for Walsh, and included champion trainers Aidan O’Brien and Willie Mullins.

Walsh himself gave evidence for an hour and a half, while other witnesses included three farriers and three vets.

The Turf Club’s chief executive Denis Egan said he could not predict when the committee’s judgement would be published.

“Should there have been any rule breach there will be another hearing to allow parties make any submissions they wish to make,” Egan said.

“If there has been no rule breach that will be the end of the matter.”

Return to action

Walsh topped the riders’ table for much of the season until breaking his arm in February. However despite a lengthy absence, he trails Ruby Walsh by just five (73-68), with Paul Townend one behind him on 67.

“Mark is fine, back riding out and hopes to be riding Wednesday,” confirmed the Turf Club medical officer Dr Adrian McGoldrick.

Two other top jockeys on the sidelines are Barry Geraghty (shin) and Davy Russell (arm,) both of whom hope to make Punchestown.

Dr McGoldrick said they would be examined this week.

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