Winning owner to appeal decision to void Killarney race

Roger Brookhouse’s Stars Over The Sea was first past the post before stewards intervened

The owner of the horse that ‘won’ Thursday’s race at Killarney which was declared void by the stewards 20 minutes after it had finished has lodged an appeal against the decision.

Roger Brookhouse owns Stars Over The Sea who was first past the post in the Rentokil Initial Race. However the stewards at Killarney controversially voided the contest after they concluded there hadn’t been a fair start.

Stars Over The Sea was led in to the tape behind the other runners, started galloping before them, and secured an unfair head-start according to the stewards. The starter, Joe Banahan, didn’t recall the field.

Some bookmakers, both on and off course, had already paid out by the time the stewards’ decision was announced and the matter was referred to Turf Club HQ for further investigation.

Brookhouse is taking the matter to the Turf Club’s Appeals Body and the regulatory body’s chief executive Denis Egan has indicated a provisional scheduling for a hearing this Thursday.

Stars Over The Sea’s trainer Henry De Bromhead had described Brookhouse as being “disappointed” over the incident and said on Friday: “Basically we are getting some legal advice on it at the moment and looking at our options.”

The Co. Waterford trainer also pointed out how the same owner lost a race at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve, 2014.

On that occasion the Brookhouse-owned Sadler’s Risk ‘won’ a hurdle race but was disqualified as his jockey, Andrew Lynch, had been weighed out by the clerk of the scales 4lbs lighter than he should have been.

After Thursday’s race the matter was referred to Turf Club HQ for further investigation and a report into the circumstances of the controversial race is expected to be published next week.

Denis Egan confirmed on Friday that details of the Turf Club’s investigation will be made public and predicted that could occur within a week.

“A complete review to see why it happened has begun with the aim to put in place procedures and protocols to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.

“It will involve talking to a lot of people but I would hope the outcome can be published within one week. We will look at everything, and why it happened. But I don’t want to prejudice any conclusion by saying anymore,” Egan added.

Another matter referred to Turf Club HQ from the Killarney festival came on Tuesday when trainer Keith Watson reported his runner, St Killenagh, was hit by a drone while being led around the parade ring.

Egan said on Friday the drone was being operated “in complete innocence” by a racegoer. “It shouldn’t have been there but it’s a completely innocent explanation,” he said.