Popular end to Dashel Drasher Stayers' Hurdle case - but how far is the panel's judgement to be trusted?

Chris CookSenior reporter
Gold Tweet (noseband, centre of picture) trails home well adrift of the principals in the Stayers' Hurdle
Dashel Drasher, yellow cap, and Teahupoo, star on cap, in the closing stages of the Stayers' Hurdle.Credit: Edward Whitaker

Oh well, it's a game of opinions, isn't it? The appeal panel has its, which is that Dashel Drasher did not interfere with Teahupoo despite appearing to carry him left on the approach to the final flight. In fairness, the weight of feeling on social media agrees.

The difficulty with such finely poised cases is so much hinges on how officials interpret the evidence of a race; all of us have the scars to show that divining meaning from a horserace can be a tricky business. Panel chairman James O'Mahony and his two colleagues ran an unimpeachably fair hearing and all appear to have strong knowledge of the game, but does that make them the right sort of experts to be throwing out definitive judgements about what happened at the Cheltenham Festival?

Having sat in on a number of hearings chaired by O'Mahony, I can say he is better at moving matters along than other chairs I have seen. While yesterday's hearing took three hours to conclude, it might easily have taken another hour or two with someone else presiding. 

Read the full story

Read award-winning journalism from the best writers in racing, with exclusive news, interviews, columns, investigations, stable tours and subscriber-only emails.

Subscribe to unlock
  • Racing Post digital newspaper (worth over £100 per month)
  • Award-winning journalism from the best writers in racing
  • Expert tips from the likes of Tom Segal and Paul Kealy
  • Replays and results analysis from all UK and Irish racecourses
  • Form study tools including the Pro Card and Horse Tracker
  • Extensive archive of statistics covering horses, trainers, jockeys, owners, pedigree and sales data

Already a subscriber?Log in

Published on 4 April 2023Last updated 09:42, 5 April 2023