Update regarding The Young Master

10 Nov 2014 Disciplinary

Following a Stewards Enquiry held at Wincanton racecourse on 8 November 2014 regarding the qualification of The Young Master, winner of the Badger Ales Trophy, to compete in the race, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today lodged an objection to the result of the race.

It is BHA’s position that The Young Master was not qualified to run in the race owing to Rule (F)42.5, reiterated in the race conditions, which states that “a novice horse shall only be qualified to run in this race if it has run a minimum of three times in Steeple Chases in Great Britain, Ireland or France”.

This Rule is in place for all Class 1 Steeple Chase Handicaps. The Young Master had only competed in two such Steeple Chases and therefore should not have been entered for, or run in, the Badger Ales Trophy.

It follows that should it be determined that a breach of Rule (F)42.5 has taken place, there may also be a breach of Rule (C)37, which states that “a trainer must ensure that he does not declare a horse to run in any race for which it is not qualified under the conditions of the race or under any provision of these Rules”.

Both matters will be considered by the Disciplinary Panel. It has been suggested to the trainer Neil Mulholland that the matter could be addressed in a hearing on Thursday 13 November, subject to the trainer’s availability and that of any individuals he may choose to represent him.

BHA is also aware that clarity needs to be provided regarding the horse’s handicap mark, and also whether the horse will be required to carry a penalty should it take up its entry on Friday. BHA is continuing to assess both issues and will confirm both outcomes following the objection hearing. In the meantime the horse’s rating will be reassessed.

BHA, in conjunction with Weatherbys, investigated how this error occurred, and can confirm that a computer systems failure is the reason that the entries system did not flag the horse as being not qualified to run. Further assessment of the systems is being undertaken, and if necessary, system changes will be made to ensure this does not happen again.

The BHA/Weatherbys entries system is designed as an aid to trainers but is not designed to override the requirements of Rule (C)37. It remains the trainer’s responsibility to ensure a horse is not declared for a race for which it is not qualified.

Notes to Editors

1.    Rule (C)37

Duties in determining horses to run for a race

37.1 A Trainer must ensure that he does not declare a horse to run in any race for which it is not qualified under the conditions of the race or under any provision of these Rules.

37.2 A Trainer must ensure that the horse that runs in a race is the horse that was named at the time of entry.

2.    Rule (F)42.5 

Jump handicap or classified races: previous experience

42.2 The conditions specified in this Rule must be met up to and including

42.2.1 if the race closes more than six days before running, the Saturday immediately before the publication of the weights in The Racing Calendar, and

42.2.2 otherwise, the Saturday immediately before closing.

A Novice or Juvenile may run

42.5.1 in a Class 1 or 2 Handicap steeple chase only if it has run at least three times in a steeple chase in any of Great Britain, Ireland and/or France, or in the case of a Class 2 Handicap steeple chase, it has run in at least two steeple chases in any of those countries and, on each occasion, has been placed in the first four;