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O’Brien considering appeal against 'bizarre' Dundalk penalty

Aidan O’Brien: relies on Deauville, Somehow and Johannes Vermeer in the absence of Minding
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Aidan O'Brien is considering an appeal against the penalties dished out to him, Wayne Lordan and Music Box by the Dundalk stewards on Friday evening under the controverisal new 'non-triers' rule.

His filly Music Box was banned for 42 days, rider Wayne Lordan for five days and O'Brien was hit with a €2,000 fine under the new rule 212 following the Dundalk Stadium-Light Up Your Night Maiden.

On the evening of the race, the champion trainer described the stewards' decision as "bizarre".

Speaking on Saturday afternoon, O'Brien added: "I'm considering an appeal against the penalties and I'll think about it over the weekend."

The stewards hit O'Brien and his team under section (A) (ii) and (iii) of the rule. Section A (ii) relates to a rider not making a "genuine attempt to obtain from the horse a timely, real and substantial effort to achieve the best possible place".

Meanwhile, section (A) (iii) reads: "Any person involved in the running of a horse in a race where the horse concerned, following examination by the Turf Club Veterinary Officer, is found to be in a condition which the person concerned knew or should have known would preclude its chance of winning or achieving its best possible placing having regard to its ability or any person involved in the running/or riding of a horse in a race for the purpose of giving the horse concerned a school shall be guilty of an offence under this sub-rule."

Music Box was making her debut and finished third, beaten just over a length behind her stablemate Asking, who had run three times as a two-year-old and been placed in a Leopardstown maiden last October.

Lordan was left slightly short of room inside the final furlong when winding up a challenge and was never closer to the winner than when passing the post.

O'Brien did not elaborate on his feelings on the matter but the early indications are that he is likely to appeal.

This latest case comes less than a week after Michael Grassick, chief executive of the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association, labelled the controversial Gowran Park 'non-triers' appeal as "deeply dissatisfying".

The stewards on the evening at Dundalk were Peter Reynolds, Robert Hall, J Martin Smith, N McGrath and Peter Matthews.

I'm considering an appeal against the penalties and I'll think about it over the weekend
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