JOCKEY Alain Cawley and trainer Johnny Farrelly have been hit hard by the stewards after their horse Whistleinthedark was deemed a ‘non-trier’.
The 16-1 shot was a well-beat fourth at Exeter on Friday, but the stewards felt he could have finished closer.
Cawley was handed a two-week ban while trainer Farrelly was fined £3,000.
The horse was judged to have been given ‘tender handling’ as it finished fourteen-and-a-half-lengths behind the winner Strike A Pose.
The pair were called into the stewards room after the race and the enquiry also ended with the horse banned from running for 40 days.
Cawley said his horse may have had a breathing problem, but after it was examined by a vet he was said to have a haematoma on his knee.
The stewards report read: “An inquiry was held into the running and riding of Whistleinthedark, ridden by Alain Cawley and trained by Johnny Farrelly, which was held up at the rear of the field while racing keenly until making progress leaving the back straight, before staying on under apparent tender handling in the home straight to finish fourth, beaten by 14-and-a-quarter lengths.
“The rider was interviewed and shown recordings of the race and the trainer was interviewed by telephone.
“The veterinary officer reported that an initial post-race examination of the gelding, during routine testing, failed to reveal any abnormalities but a second examination one hour later revealed Whistleinthedark to have a haematoma on its left-fore knee, though the gelding had full flexion.
“The rider stated his instructions had been to settle Whistleinthedark towards the back of the field as the gelding has been keen in its work at home, with the aim of getting Whistleinthedark to finish its race as best he could.
“He added that shortly after jumping off towards the rear, the gelding had raced very keenly and had not jumped the first two hurdles fluently and, despite jumping the third hurdle better, Whistleinthedark was still running keenly, which concerned the rider as he was conscious if this continued the gelding would not be able to finish its race.
“He further added that he was still keen running down the hill but Whistleinthedark had made a noise when jumping the final hurdle in the back straight, which got progressively worse as the race progressed and in the circumstances he had ridden the gelding to obtain the best possible position.
“The trainer confirmed the instructions and stated that he was satisfied the ride accorded with those instructions. Cawley was suspended for 14 days and Farrelly was fined £3,000 for schooling and conditioning the horse on the racecourse in that Cawley had failed to ride his mount in such a way that he could be seen to ask for timely, real and substantial effort to obtain the best possible placing.
“Whistleinthedark was suspended from running in any race for 40 days.”
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