'No malicious intent' with Kings Dolly – Power defends Russell
Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning jockey Robbie Power says the reaction on social media to Davy Russell's Tramore incident with Kings Dolly has been "way over the top" and does not believe there was any malicious intent from his colleague.
Russell has been criticised for appearing to strike Kings Dolly in the face at the 'show' hurdle before the 2m mares' handicap hurdle on Friday night, but Power has some sympathy and feels Russell was simply trying to get the horse's attention.
"On the video I saw, it looked as if the horse was paying no attention to Davy's instructions to slow down going into the hurdle," Power said.
"I cannot believe what some people are saying. Some of the things I've read have been ridiculous. The reaction on social media has been way over the top. There was no malicious intent there and people need to realise that."
A decision on whether Russell will face punishment will be made before the end of the week, according to Turf Club chief executive Denis Egan.
The Turf Club will speak to Russell over the next couple of days to hear his side of the story, as well as trainer Roger McGrath, and then it will be decided whether the matter should be handed over to a referrals committee for potential punishment.
"We will talk to Davy and see what he has to say. We also hope to speak to Roger McGrath as well," Egan said. "When we have done that and, after we hear all the sides of the story, we will then decide whether the matter needs to be referred on for further investigation. We need to decide whether any rules have been broken. The matter will be fully investigated."
Speaking in the Star newspaper, for which he is a regular columnist, Russell said: "Unfortunately the Turf Club are looking at what happened at Tramore and I can't really go into any specifics.
"The situation with Kings Dolly was an ordinary enough situation and I didn't do anything out of the ordinary. I'm not sure everyone on social media understands how a thoroughbred racehorse handles at race time but I'm happy to speak with the Turf Club about this."