NOEL Meade and Sean Flanagan were successful with their appeal against a decision of the stewards that found them in breach of the ‘non-trier’ rule at Thurles earlier this month.
Bugs Moran, ridden by Flanagan and trained by Meade, was banned for a period of 42 days, after the stewards viewed that he was not seen to have been the subject of a genuine attempt to obtain a timely, real and substantial effort to achieve the best possible place.
The five-year-old gelding finished 41 lengths behind the winner Adamantly Chosen on the day which also resulted in a 10-day suspension for Flanagan and a €2,000 fine for Meade.
At the appeal, heard at Punchestown on Wednesday, Flanagan stated that the horses he was tracking steadied and, as a result, he ended up in a pocket on the rail, further back than he intended.
He added that his first opportunity to make up ground would have resulted in him being three horses wide going around the bend past the stands, which wouldn’t be ideal, and when he made his move in the middle of the back straight, the pace of the race had increased. Flanagan admitted he had given the horse a poor ride.
Meade, who was represented by Emma Connolly on the day of the race as the trainer was away, stated that once he saw the race he was very dissatisfied with the ride.
He wrongly assumed that the stewards enquiry would be referred on to the IHRB as he had not seen the race and he felt it was difficult for Connolly, giving her inexperience in such a situation and her close working relationship with Flanagan, to ask her an opinion or be critical of him.
Having considered the evidence the Appeals Body could not be satisfied that there was a breach of the rule and felt that, on balance, the appeals should be allowed.