1. On 21 July 2016, the Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) heard an appeal brought by Sylvester Kirk, the trainer of WOODUKHELEYFIT, against the decision of the Stewards at Wolverhampton on 5 July 2016 to reverse the placings of the first and second home in the Visit attheraces.com Maiden Auction Stakes. They demoted WOODUKHELEYFIT, ridden by George Baker to second place, and in consequence promoted BAYSTON HILL, ridden by Luke Morris, to first place. They found that BAYSTON HILL had been making progress to challenge the leader when suffering interference, which cost him both ground and momentum and despite this he got to within a head of the winner at the line.
2. Prior to the enquiry, both parties had agreed that they had no objection to the Panel members sitting.
3. As always, the Disciplinary Panel approached this type of appeal as a re-hearing. The appeal was presented by Miss S Farr, the owner, on behalf of Mr Kirk, who was in attendance and the BHA’s case was presented by Lyn Williams. Mr Morris, the rider and Mark Usher the trainer of BAYSTON HILL and Mr Baker, the rider of WOODUKHELEYFIT, were in attendance.
4. Mr Williams stated that in the final ½ furlong WOODUKHELEYFIT hung right handed away from the whip intimidating BAYSTON HILL causing him to become unbalanced and taking him two – three horses width off his intended line. After re balancing his horse Mr Morris had only seven – eight strides to make up the lost ground, yet he reduced the deficit from ½ length to a head. He stated that in the BHA’s opinion, but for this interference, BAYSTON HILL would have got up to win the race.
5. Miss Farr, whilst accepting there was interference, said that there had been no contact between the horses and at no time did Mr Morris have to stop riding. She said that WOODUKHELEYFIT, a two year old having only its second run, was idling in front, but always holding his position.
6. The Panel having viewed all the views of the race concluded that despite BAYSTON HILL being taken off his intended line, there was no contact between the horses and BAYSTON HILL did not lose any momentum. Although making ground towards the line when hard ridden, BAYSTON HILL was always held by WOODUKHELEYFIT who was running on under a hands and heel ride.
7. The Panel upheld Mr Kirk’s appeal and confirmed the placings as WOODUKHELEYFIT first and BAYSTON HILL second.
Notes to Editors:
1. The Panel for the appeal was: Lucinda Cavendish (Chair), Diana Powles, Philip Curl