Owner loses appeal over Secret Memories' Chelmsford defeat
An appeal by owner Michael O'Brien against a stewards' decision not to award his horse Secret Memories a race at Chelmsford last month after she suffered interference from the winner before finishing second was dismissed on Thursday.
O'Brien claimed the filly, trained in Ireland by Katy Brown, had been pushed onto the rail and intimidated by both the Charlie Wallis-trained Fareeq and the whip of winning jockey Jason Watson, causing her to become unbalanced and lose momentum before recovering to be beaten three-quarters of a length.
The Chelmsford meeting had been delayed 63 minutes due to snow, as a result of which O'Brien, who represented himself, said: "I know the stewards were under huge stress."
But a BHA disciplinary panel, chaired by James O'Mahony, ruled the interference did not improve the winner's placing "on the balance of probabilities".
"We agree with the decision of the stewards, particularly with regard to comparing the momentum of the two horses and the winning distance," said O'Mahony as he ordered O'Brien's deposit to be refunded.
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