THE long-running investigation by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board [IHRB] into trainer Ronan McNally over a number of ‘improvement in form’ cases is due to come before the Referrals Committee on Monday morning.

Based in Armagh, McNally has trained a string of well-backed winners in the past three years - both in Britain and Ireland - though he maintains he has been unfairly linked with the betting angle.

In September 2020 the IHRB launched an investigation after the McNally-trained Dreal Deal landed a gamble in a Navan handicap hurdle, the first of six consecutive wins by the horse. The senior NH handicapper said the horse showed improvement “in excess of two stone” in the Limerick race.

It is understood that the IHRB investigation grew to include other horses trained by McNally and that more licence holders will be involved in the hearing.

Asked for details, a spokesperson for the IHRB said the regulator had a policy of not publicising Referral Committee hearings in advance.

Just last month McNally won his appeal against a €2,000 fine and 42-day horse suspension imposed over the running and riding of Ithaka in a maiden hurdle at Limerick in July.