A punter once advised me “don’t bet on stewards enquires, or the weather in Ireland, as both of them are too unpredictable”.
The stewards enquires in Irish racetracks have long been a serious problem, they are either too harsh or too lenient, there is clearly a lack of any serious consistency.
Generally, stewards enquires are a combination of using rule books, as well as using their own common sense however more frequently common sense isn’t prevailing.
The recent stewards enquiry in a long line of errors took place at Downpatrick racecourse on Sunday 12th August in the 4.55pm contest.
The two horses in the firing line were Folly Dat (The offender) ridden by Andrew Ring and Shine In Dubai ridden by Danny Mullins (The victim). Close to home, to be precise 150 yards from the line Andrew Ring and his mount Folly Dat dangerously edged across Shine In Dubai’s path, leaving jockey Danny Mullins no choice but to snatch up when ready to overtake his rival, noticeably losing all winning momentum so close to home.
After a lengthy enquiry the stewards on duty failed to alter the placings however they acknowledged jockey Andrew Ring was in breach of Rule 214 in that he had ridden carelessly on Folly Dat. They considered a fair punishment was to give the jockey a lenient one-day suspension, there is no country in the entire world who would have agreed with that senseless outcome.
The Mullins camp should unquestionably challenge that decision, as they were coming with a winning challenge and were stopped in their track by a dangerous manoeuvre by an experienced jockey, an appeal looks very probable and the outcome of this result will be altered without a shadow of a doubt.
Read the official stewards report below.
The Stewards enquired into possible interference in the closing stages of this race involving Folly Dat, ridden by A. Ring, placed first and Shine In Dubai, ridden by D.E. Mullins, placed second, where it appeared that Shine in Dubai ran short of room on the rails and checked. Evidence was heard from the riders concerned. Having viewed the recording of the race and considered the evidence, the Stewards made no alteration to the Judge’s placings, however were of the opinion that A. Ring was in breach of Rule 214 in that he had ridden carelessly and having considered his clean record in this regard suspended him for one race day.