Results of enquiries (D Bass, W Muir, Cheltenham Racecourse, H Bentley, P D’Arcy) heard by the Disciplinary Panel on Thursday 21 April

21 Apr 2016

David Bass

1. The Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on 21 April 2016 held an enquiry to establish whether or not David Bass, the rider of THE LAST SAMURI (IRE), placed second, had committed a breach of Schedule (B)6 Part 2 of the Rules of Racing concerning his use of the whip in the Crabbie’s Grand National Steeple Chase at Aintree on 9 April 2016. The matter was referred to the BHA Head Office by the Aintree Stewards following an enquiry on the same day because this was Bass’ fifth offence of mis-use of the whip, warranting a suspension of between 2 to 6 days, in the last 6 months.

2. The BHA’s case was presented by Lyn Williams and Bass was represented by Rory Mac Neice. The Panel also viewed recordings of the race.

3. The Panel accepted Bass’ admission that he was guilty of misuse of the whip in that he had used his whip above the permitted level. It considered that the breach would have warranted a suspension of 4 days.

4. Taking into account that Bass:
i)    had committed 5 whip breaches (4 x 2 days & 1 x 4 days), since 8 November 2015; and
ii)    had had 182 rides over this period
the Panel suspended him from riding for 20 days, of which 6 days will be deferred for 2 months until 13 July 2016. The suspension will run from Friday 29 April 2016 until Friday 13 May 2016 inclusive, on days when jump racing is schedule to take place.

5. In deciding on the length of suspension, the Panel noted the number of rides and the time period over which the offences occurred.


William Muir

1. The Disciplinary Panel of the BHA on Thursday 21 April 2016 held an enquiry into admitted allegations of breach of the Rules of Racing by the trainer William Muir. His horse LORELEI ran in the Hickstead Show Ground Handicap Stakes at Lingfield Park on 13 August 2015, 12 clear days after it had received an intra-articular corticosteroid injection, 10mg Adcortyl®, on 31 July 2015. This was administered by Muir’s Veterinary Surgeon, Peter Thurlow, and recorded in the trainer’s NTF medication records. An inspection of Muir’s yard revealed this when the BHA’s Veterinary and Equine Welfare teams visited to conduct out of competition testing.
2. The Panel heard submissions from Muir, who was in attendance, and Danielle Sharkey on behalf of the BHA.

3. The Panel noted that Muir was in breach of Rule (A)74, Ground 4, which provides that a horse will be disqualified if it emerges that it was not qualified to run in a race as provided by Schedule (B)3. That Schedule states (at Paragraph 11A) that a horse must not have been administered an intra-articular corticosteroid on the day of its race or on any of the 14 days before the race.

4. When considering penalty, the Guide to Procedures and Penalties indicates a fine of between £750 and £2,000 with an entry point of £1,000 for a breach of Rule (A)74 and Schedule (B)3 Paragraph 11A. Given Muir’s prompt admission of breach, the procedures that had been put in place to ensure that errors did not occur in the future, and the evidence which did establish that neither he nor his Veterinary Surgeon were acting in any underhand way, the Panel imposed the entry level fine of £1,000. The Panel also disqualified LORELIE from the race placing YORKINDRED SPIRIT second, SHIFTING MOON third, KATNISS (IRE) fourth, CAROLINE NORTON (USA) fifth and BRIGAND CHIEF sixth.


Cheltenham Racecourse

1. The Disciplinary Panel of the BHA on Thursday 21 April 2016 held an enquiry to consider whether or not Jockey Club Racecourses Ltd, in its capacity as the Managing Executive of Cheltenham Racecourse, had committed a breach of Rule (F)15.3.4 of the Rules of Racing, in that by failing to identify prior to the running of the 4th race on 15 March 2016 that a spigot had been left in the crossing after the second last flight of hurdles, approximately a metre from the inside running rails, the Executive failed to carry out their responsibility to ensure that the course and fences were maintained in good condition.

2. The Panel heard submissions from Lyn Williams, on behalf of the BHA and considered written submissions on behalf of the Executive. It also viewed the recordings of the incident seen by the Cheltenham Stewards on the day as well as the Channel 4 footage.

3. The Panel noted that Simon Claisse, Clerk of the Course, reported at the Stewards’ enquiry on the day that the rail that goes across the crossing had been taken out for the sand to be sprayed with a green dye and that the spigot must have been inadvertently left by a member of the ground staff. Mr Claisse had later conducted a thorough investigation and spoken to each member of the ground staff, none of whom considered that that they had left the spigot. In light of this, the BHA accepted that there was no explanation as to how the spigot got left on the track.

4. The Panel also noted that procedures had been put in place by Cheltenham Executive to ensure that this did not happen again in the future.

5. However, the Panel, having viewed the video, were concerned that the spigot had been left on the racing line and that the horses had to take evasive action to avoid it.

6. Having considered the evidence the Panel accepted an admission that it was in breach of Rule (F)15.3.4 and fined the Executive £5,000.


Harry Bentley

The Disciplinary Panel of the BHA on Thursday 21 April 2016 held an enquiry to consider an objection, under Rule (A)74.2 Ground 2 of the Rules of Racing, to AUNTIE BARBER (IRE), placed second in the Cantering Cuisine Maiden Auction Stakes at Lingfield Park on 30 March 2016, and to LUCY THE PAINTER (IRE), placed first in the 32Red Casino Fillies’ Handicap Stakes at Kempton Park on 30 March 2016 on the grounds that the rider in both races, Harry Bentley, was not qualified to ride on that day due to the suspension imposed upon him for careless riding by the Qatar Turf Authority on 24 March 2016, to take effect on Wednesday 30 and Thursday 31 March 2016. Also, whether or not Bentley had committed a breach of Rule (A)69.2 in respect of him riding in the races when suspended from doing so.

Having considered the evidence, the Panel upheld the objection and under Rule (A)74.2 Ground 2 disqualified AUNTIE BARBER (IRE) from its race, placing LAJATICO second, ALDAIR third and HEADS YOU WIN fourth. It also disqualified LUCY THE PAINTER (IRE) from its race placing BAILEYS MIRAGE (FR) first, PERFECT BOUNTY second, RIALTO MAGIC third and LIGHT ROSE (IRE) fourth. The Panel also accepted Bentley’s admission that he was in breach of Rule (A)69.2 and suspended him for 2 days on Friday 29 April 2016 and Monday 2 May 2016.


Paul D’Arcy

1. The Disciplinary Panel of the BHA on Thursday 21 April 2016 held an enquiry into the analysis of the urine ordered to be taken from RED INVADER (IRE), trained by Paul D’Arcy, by the Stewards at Wolverhampton after the gelding was placed third in the Daily Price Boosts at Unibet Handicap (Tapeta) on 21 December 2015. The sample tested positive for Triamcinolone acetonide, a prohibited substance as defined in Schedule (G)1 paragraph 7, in breach of Rule (G)2.1 of the Rules of Racing. The Panel also considered whether or not to take action under Rule (A)74.2 Ground 3 in respect of the possible disqualification of the gelding.

2. The Panel noted that D’Arcy had requested that the matter be heard in his absence. The BHA’s case was presented by Danielle Sharkey.

3. The Panel noted that D’Arcy had explained that RED INVADER (IRE) was a slightly older racehorse who had suffered from being slightly arthritic in its joints. Following consultation with the owners and David Dugdale, D’Arcy’s Veterinary Surgeon, it had been agreed that the best course of treatment was an injection of 10 mg of Adcortyl® into both knees and front fetlocks. The medication records and Veterinary records confirmed that on 5 December 2015 the gelding was administered, to its knees and fetlocks, four intra-articular injections with a total of 40mg of Adcortyl ® by Mr Dugdale.

4. During interview D’Arcy indicated that he had received advice from Mr Dugdale that the withdrawal period was 14 days. The BHA has a mandatory 14 day stand-down period from racing following the administration of the intra-articular corticosteroid, which on the facts of this case would have meant that the gelding was technically eligible to run on 20 December 2015. Despite the fact that D’Arcy adhered to the Rule, the BHA guidance states that the Withdrawal Time may be longer than the minimum stand-down period and that if he had any doubt he should have contacted the BHA for advice and/or had Elective Testing. Therefore it was entirely possible that the substance remained in the gelding’s system when the Sample was collected after the race.

5. The Panel also noted that D’Arcy did not challenge the finding, and did not elect for analysis of the ‘B’ sample.

6. Having considered the evidence, including a submission on penalty from the National Trainers Federation, the Panel agreed that on the balance of probability, the source of the positive was the injections administered by D’Arcy’s Veterinary Surgeon on 5 December 2015. The Panel found D’Arcy in breach of Rule (G)2.1 and imposed a fine of £1,000.

7. Under Rule (A)74.2 Ground 3 the Panel disqualified RED INVADER (IRE) from the race placing INNOCENTLY (IRE) third, SECRET ASSET (IRE) fourth, LIGHT FROM MARS fifth and LOURARIN (IRE) sixth.


Notes to Editors:
1. The Panel for the enquiries was: William Barlow (Chair), Jeremy Barlow, Edward Dorrell


2. Triamcinolone Acetonide (Adcortyl®) is a corticosteroid and is commonly used in horses as an anti-inflammatory.