Gallant Oscar finished fourth behind Madam Bovary (leading, above)PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Quinn and Loughran punished for Gallant run
TRAINER Denis Quinn was fined €2,000 and rider Roger Loughran was suspended for seven days by the Punchestown stewards for not obtaining the best possible placing on Gallant Oscar, who finished fourth in the opening Festival Hospitality From 99Euro Beginners Chase.
Loughran told the stewards his instructions were to settle his mount towards the rear, giving the horse a bit of light as he can be a sketchy jumper, and to ultimately try to get the horse around and do his best.
He added that Gallant Oscar was off the bridle in the early stages and made a respiratory noise from the third-last fence which got progressively worse, before staying on past beaten horses in the straight.
Quinn's representative Gearoid O'Loughlin confirmed the instructions and the fact the horse has jumped ordinarily in the past in point-to-points.
He added that the horse made a respiratory noise in running on his last start at Punchestown and was subsequently found to have mucus in the lungs on endoscopic examination, though these issues had not been reported to the Turf Club.
He also confirmed his satisfaction with Saturday's ride.
The stewards found Quinn and Loughran to be in breach of Rule 212, concerning a horse obtaining its best possible placing. Furthermore, the trainer was referred to the Turf Club for failing to report matters which may have affected the horse's past or future performance.
An aggrieved Loughran later said: "I feel very hard done by to be honest. I thought I did the right thing trying to get the horse home. He's not the greatest lepper in the world and when he dived at the third-last I got hold of him and just decided to let him get home.
"He went past three horses that were only trotting and he has no form to suggest he could have got near the horses in front of him," he said, adding: "I might appeal."