Russell case to be considered by Turf Club on Saturday
Davy Russell will learn this weekend whether he faces punishment for an incident at Tramore last Friday when it appeared he punched his mount, Kings Dolly, on the head before the start of a mares' handicap hurdle.
The referrals committee of the Turf Club will meet at noon on Saturday at Killarney to consider whether Russell was in breach of rule 272(i), which relates to "conduct or behaviour [. . .] which is prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct or good reputation of horse racing".
In a statement issued by the Turf Club on Thursday afternoon, chief executive Denis Egan said: "Our investigation into the alleged incident involving Davy Russell and Kings Dolly at Tramore last Friday has now been completed."
The incident went largely unnoticed at first but later created a storm on social media after a video was widely circulated. In it, Russell's mount Kings Dolly is shown approaching the 'show' hurdle – an obstacle riders show their horses before the race – at speed, coming to an abrupt halt that lifted Russell briefly out of the saddle.
Russell then appears to strike the horse on the back of the head with his right fist.
Earlier this week Russell told the Irish Daily Star: "Unfortunately the Turf Club is 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."