Egan: my authority has not been undermined by Russell referral
Denis Egan insists his authority has not been undermined after the decision to caution Davy Russell for striking Kings Dolly was referred for review by the registrar of the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee (INHS) for being unduly lenient.
As Keeper of the Match Book, the chief executive of the Turf Club also had it within his power to request a review of the referral panel's verdict, but on this occasion it was the registrar of the INHS Josh Byrne who triggered the call.
The INHS is responsible specifically for the regulation of jump racing in Ireland, and Egan says he was involved in the decision to instigate a review, with the appeal set to be heard on Tuesday at 11am.
"There's no feeling whatsoever that my authority has been undermined – it was a joint decision," Egan said on Thursday.
'As simple as that'
"I could have referred the matter again to the appeals body if I wanted to in my position as chief executive. Because I referred the matter on the first occasion, we decided internally that it would it would better for the INHS to refer it. It's as simple as all that –there's nothing else about it. I referred the first one, so the INHS did the second."
Of the proceedings that led to the call for a review, Egan explained: "The decision was reviewed internally and I was involved in that process and we had the stewards here on Wednesday, telling them what we are going to do.
"We contacted the relevant parties in the afternoon and informed them of our decision, with a hearing in the process of being set up at the moment. That will be done as soon as possible."
In the aftermath of the hearing at Killarney on Saturday that saw Russell emerge from the incident with a caution, when asked on ATR if he felt a caution was a "sufficient deterrent" for similar incident in future, Egan said that he felt it was, although he has subsequently sought to distance himself from apparently defending the outcome, saying he was commenting in general terms.
Egan expressed his satisfaction with the speed at which the affair has been handled.
"The hearing was on in eight days," he said. "It happened at Tramore on Friday and came to our attention late on Saturday night, which meant we interviewed and prepared for the the hearing the following Saturday – I think that's very quick."
'BHA has clear rules'
Asked to comment on the decision to review the Tramore caution, Russell said on Thursday: "I think it's best to leave the Turf Club to arrive at whatever decision will be made with the review. They're more than professional enough to be able to come to their conclusion."
Professional Jockeys Association chief executive Paul Struthers said the organisation had no plans to remind its members in Britain of their responsibilities in light of the Kings Dolly affair.
He said: “The BHA has clear rules and penalties for such offences and we have no plans to send anything out to our members. But the BHA holds biennial seminars for jockeys and those for jump jockeys take place in September and October so I wouldn’t be surprised if it was raised in that context, given the timing.”