Results of enquiries (Brock, O’Farrell, Brittain, Hannon) heard by the Disciplinary Panel on Monday 1 September

01 Sep 2014 Disciplinary Panel - Referrals from Racecourse

Danny Brock

The Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on Monday 1 September 2014 held an enquiry to establish whether or not Danny Brock, the rider of the winner GIANT SEQUOIA (USA), had committed a breach of Schedule (B)6 Part 2 of the Rules of Racing concerning his use of the whip when riding in the All New Handicap Stakes at Lingfield Park on 20 August 2014. The matter was referred to BHA by the Lingfield Stewards following an enquiry on the same day because this was Brock’s fifth offence of mis-use of the whip, warranting a suspension of between two to six days, in the last six months.

The Panel heard submissions from Brock’s legal representative, and viewed video recordings of the race.

The Panel accepted Brock’s admission that he was guilty of misuse of the whip in that he had used his whip when clearly winning. It considered that the breach would have warranted a suspension of two days.

Taking into account that Brock:
i) had committed five whip breaches (2 x 2 days, 1 x 3 days and  2 x 4 days), since 29 April 2014; and
ii) had had 94 rides over this period
it suspended him from riding for 21 days, of which seven days will be deferred for  two months until 22 November 2014. The suspension will run from Tuesday 9 September 2014 until Monday 22 September 2014 inclusive.

In deciding on the length of suspension the Panel noted that Brock had sought advice from the British Racing School on his use of the whip.


Seamus O’Farrell

1. On Monday 1 September 2014 the Disciplinary Panel of the BHA held an enquiry to consider whether or not Seamus O’Farrell, the owner and Irish Permit Trainer of SNAPCHAT (IRE), was in breach of Rule (E)92.2 of the Rules of Racing in respect of his laying to lose the gelding that ran in the Ensor Group Maiden Hurdle (For the Staffordshire Regiment Challenge Cup) at Uttoxeter on 6 October 2013.

The Panel heard submissions from Mr O’Farrell.


2. The Panel noted that immediately prior to the race, Betfair had contacted the BHA to advise that an account registered in the owner’s name had laid the gelding.  Therefore, as per the BHA’s usual procedure upon receipt of such information, a Steward’s Enquiry was convened after the race.  The Enquiry raised no concerns with the running or riding of the gelding.

 The bets

3. Mr O’Farrell had laid SNAPCHAT (IRE) by telephone with Betfair in the place market for a total of £144.80.  At the start of the race the overall position was a liability of £1,643.90 if the gelding had been placed and a potential profit of £144.80 if the gelding had been unplaced.  Mr O’Farrell had profited from his lay bet to the sum of £144.80 as the gelding was unplaced.

Betfair Telephone Recordings

4. The BHA reviewed the telephone recordings on 6 October 2013 from when Mr O’Farrell laid SNAPCHAT (IRE).  He first asked the Betfair operator for the balance of his account before asking for the price of the gelding, which was contrary to what he had told the BHA Investigating Officers at interview.  The telephone recording of when Betfair contacted Mr O’Farrell after the race to inform him that his account would be suspended was also reviewed by the BHA.  Mr O’Farrell had stated in this conversation that he was unaware that it was against the Rules to lay his own horse.


4. On 13 February 2014 Mr O’Farrell was interviewed by BHA Investigating Officers.  During the interview Mr O’Farrell had admitted being in breach of the Rules by placing lay bets on a horse that he owned, however, he denied that the bets were premeditated.  He also stated that he was aware that the Rules prohibited him from placing lay bets on a horse that he owned.


6. The Panel accepted an admission from Mr O’Farrell that he was in breach of Rule (E)92.2.  The Panel noted the BHA had no concerns that there were any Inside Information issues and that Mr O’Farrell had admitted the breach at the earliest opportunity and had fully co-operated with the enquiry.


11. The Panel declared Mr O’Farrell to be a disqualified person for a period of three months from Tuesday 2 September 2014 until Monday 1 December 2014 inclusive.


Mel Brittain

The Disciplinary Panel of BHA held an enquiry on Monday 1 September 2014 into a report that LEES ANTHEM, trained by Mel Brittain, had refused to leave the parade ring for the Percy Hedley Foundation Handicap Stakes at Newcastle on 7 August 2014. The matter was referred to the BHA by the Newcastle Stewards following their enquiry of the same day, this being the third occasion in which the gelding had been reported for unruly behaviour on the racecourse in the previous two months. The gelding had refused to start at Beverley on 4 July 2014 and had refused to leave the stables at Beverley on 15 July 2014.

Having considered the evidence, including correspondence from Brittain and Peter McMahon, the owner of LEES ANTHEM, the Panel declared that with immediate effect under Rule (F)66, no further entries would be accepted for LEES ANTHEM for races run under the Rules of Racing for four months until 1 January 2015. However, the Panel also directed that if LEES ANTHEM is reported for unruly behaviour in the future the matter should be referred back to the BHA.


Richard Hannon

The Disciplinary Panel of the BHA held an enquiry on Monday 1 September 2014 into the analysis of the urine ordered to be taken from ZURIGHA (IRE), trained by Richard Hannon, by the Stewards at Kempton Park after the filly had finished first in the Betfred Mobile Lotto Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes (Listed Race) on 19 April 2014. The sample tested positive for a prohibited substance, in breach of Rule (C)53 of the Rules of Racing. The Panel also considered whether or not to take action under Rule (A)74.2 of the Rules of Racing in respect of the possible disqualification of the filly.

The urine taken from ZURIGHA (IRE) was found to contain hydroxypropranolol, which is a prohibited substance. The trainer exercised his right to have the ‘B’ sample analysed at LGC which confirmed the original finding. After considering the evidence, including a written submission from Hannon, the Panel was unable to establish the source of the substance, and could not therefore be satisfied that the administration of the substance was accidental.

The Panel accepted an admission from Hannon that he was in breach of Rule (C)53 and imposed a fine of £1,000. It was not asked by the BHA to consider a contribution to the costs associated with the analysis of the ‘B’ sample.

Under Rule (A)74.2 the Panel disqualified ZURIGHA (IRE) from the race, placing RIBBONS first, MAGIC OF REALITY (FR) second, BROADWAY DUCHESS (IRE) third, SENAFE fourth, COMPTON BIRD fifth and AUCTION (IRE) sixth.


Notes to editors:

1. The Panel for the enquiries was: William Barlow (Chair), Didi Powles, Roger Bellamy.