Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Racing Post report by Paul Eacott published on Friday November 16th 2007:

TIMMY MURPHY'S APPEAL against the 20-day ban handed to him by the Fontwell stewards last week was turned down on Thursday, (November 15th 2007) with the BHA's disciplinary panel even adding another day to his suspension.

Murphy and trainer Nick Gifford attended the hearing at the BHA's headquarters at Shaftesbury Avenue in London to appeal over the severity of the punishments handed to them after 7-1 chance ASHLEYS PETALE finished a never-nearer sixth of ten on her debut in a mares' bumper last Friday.

The Fontwell stewards handed Murphy a 17-day ban for breaching rule 157(f) – the non-triers' rule – plus an additional three days because it was his second such offence in less than two years.

Gifford was fined £4,000, while the horse was banned from running for 40 days.

On Thursday, the disciplinary panel heard details from the stewards' inquiry held on the day, when Gifford told officials: “Today was all about education, hands and heels. I said to Timmy ‘I don't want this horse knocked about. It's all about education today'.”

The disciplinary panel, chaired by Patrick Hibbert-Foy, watched the race from numerous angles, before hearing evidence from Rory Mac Neice, on behalf of Murphy and Gifford, who told the panel that the duo showed “remarkable candidness” during the original inquiry. However, having decided that “at no stage of the race did Murphy ask for any timely, real or substantial effort”, the panel chose to increase his total suspension to 21 days, reducing his ban for the actual offence to 14 days but increasing the punishment for it being his second such breach of the rules to seven days from the original three.

Gifford's fine was reduced to £3,000.

Murphy will now be out of action for the period November 20 to December 10 inclusive, so will miss the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup and Paddy Power Tingle Creek Chase.

After the hearing, the pair left without making comment, but Mac Neice said on their behalf: I am strongly of the view that if ever you demonstrated how to ensure that a horse would settle that was a textbook ride. “My own view is that Timmy should be complimented for being able to do that and there is no doubt that if he had been unable to settle the horse, she would not have finished as well as she did, and that is clearly demonstrated by the horse who front-ran in that race and finished 36 lengths behind Ashleys Petale.”

Owen Byrne, public relations officer for the BHA, said: “Racegoers and punters should expect to see – as the rules make clear – a timely, real and substantial effort, and there was no evidence of it in this ride. The jockey showed scant regard for punters in such a performance.”

Earlier, Martin Dwyer was partially successful in his appeal against the three-day ban he picked up for careless riding on Magroom at Wolverhampton on November 5. Dwyer will now miss two days, November 16-17.

TURFCALL has this to say: The British Horseracing Authority together with the Fontwell Stewards: W Tufnell, JJ Aird, Mrs J Cavandish, A Wates, P Scoulier, R Alwen, CK Price, CS Hall, RAC Corbett, J Paxman. Stipediary Stewards PD Barton, TK Brennan responsible, found that in their opinion the running and riding of the filly ASHLEYS PETALE was unsatisfactory and classed her immediately as a non-trier. (Fontwell 09 11.2007) in the 3.40 “AYH plc Mares’Only Intermediate Open National Hunt Flat Race (Class 6)” Winner £1,713 Distance 2m 2 and a half furlongs. Ten ran.

There were just two other runners in this field of ten besides ASHLEYS PETALE (finished in 6th place) who were also having their introductory debut run in this race. MISS PENFOLD (finished in 7th place) WORDY’S GIRL (finished in 9th place).

It should be noted that the winner LAVENDER TRACK beat the second FIT TO DRIVE by one and threequarters of a length, both well clear of third TARALINA eleven lengths off the pace. The other competitors were ALL well beaten with no chance of ever catching LAVENDER TRACK. The Regulation parties in finding as they did, took the whole race totally out of perspective.

Deathwatch video footage featuring horses that have been pushed too far, soured once too often and misunderstood so that they end up as statistics on paper, no longer admirable, beautiful, living, breathing creatures. IF Murphy had knocked ASHLEYS PETALE about and used his whip vigorously would that be considered getting the best from the filly?

Horses are all individuals and require different approaches. It should not be the case that every jockey should get to the bottom of his horse especially if that horse is a young and inexperienced animal, a novice and having her first race under rules. The BHA and betting public should understand that THE HORSES NEEDS MUST COME FIRST, NOT the commercial factors that hold sway over the racing game. Clearly at present they DO NOT. THE RULES OF RACING NEED CHANGING, WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT.

How possibly can any steward in this particular situation understand this issue over and above the jockey that is riding the animal, and the trainer who is training the animal? Have the regulators ever sat on a horse? Let alone understand fully the Rules of Racing and the physical and mental requirements
that are put upon horses – each contestant competing in a race, made up of the horse/rider partnership, were horse and man compete as one, in all preperation for the track and in all competition on the track, AS ONE.

REMINDER: Zara Phillips when winning the "Sportswoman of the Year" award, spoke up, explaining the working partnership that she has achieved with TOY TOWN.

This is exactly how ASHLEYS PETALE and TIMMY MURPHY went out to compete at Fontwell together, a talented experienced top professional rider capable of helping ASHLEYS PETALE throughout her debut ordeal, her very first race.

The sadness is how the whole issue has been taken completely out of all context by British regulation parties, who should know better, but clearly DO NOT. This has to be stopped.
The punishments dished out, revoked with immediate effect. With a full written apology to all
those that have been condemned and accused so wrongly.

Racehorse Death Watch Website



Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Gifford and Murphy appeal against Fontwell penalties

Racing Post Report. ...
by Turia Tellwright 13.11.2007

NICK GIFFORD and Timmy Murphy have decided to appeal against the non-trier penalties imposed by the Fontwell stewards last Friday, with the trainer saying the decision was "very, very harsh". The stewards were unhappy with the running and riding of Ashleys Petale in the mares' bumper. Gifford was fined £4,000, Murphy banned for 20 days and the filly banned from running for 40 days. "We have decided to appeal because we think that we have been fined towards the top end of the bracket. This seems very, very harsh on a filly who was having her first run," the trainer said. Ashleys Petale, a 7-1 shot, finished sixth of ten, beaten more than 25 lengths, having been in rear throughout the race. The stewards interviewed both jockey and trainer and Murphy stated that his instructions had been to get the filly settled and teach her to race. Gifford confirmed that the jockey had ridden the filly to instructions, adding that the filly was prone to be excitable and was not to be knocked about as he wanted her educated.

"I know it doesn't look good," he said on Monday. "I have been advised not to appeal against the finding of 'schooling' but we are otherwise hopeful. We have a very good track record and are hoping for some leniency." Murphy's suspension, from November 20 to December 9, includes the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup. In September last year, Murphy was found guilty of breaking the same rule, 157(f), on the Peter Monteith-trained Touch Of Ivory. Consequently, his penalty this time was more severe. "I thought it was a lot for a 15 hands filly in a bumper, it is not as though we were trying to be clever or anything," said Murphy, who is being represented by Rory Mac Neice. "We will just see how we get on.” The appeal takes place at Shaftesbury Avenue to-morrow, Thursday November 15 2007. ENDS

TURFCALL takes issue over this dangerously harsh, cruel and ignorant ruling given by British horseracing regulation and governance parties (as now termed: The British Horseracing Authority) in the way that they are literally attempting to destroy the very fabric and makeup of true professional horsemanship standards, sacrosanct, to all true professional horsemen and horsewomen within British horseracing. Why? To suit only the punter? Is this what the BHA believe that the punter wishes to be going on? Or Seb and Leona Sanders beautiful little daughter Darcy left to grow up to witness?

FONTWELL STEWARDS Each and every steward inclusive of stipendiary, supposedly acting at Fontwell on November 9 2007 who called into question the running and riding of “ASHLEYS PETALE” debut on the race track. Culminating in their decision to enforce such unbelievable punishments, now need to be suspended from all further duties with immediate effect, and sent for correction tuition for as long as it takes, to the British Racing School. IF after this they still fail to grasp fully the serious mistakes they have made, removed completely from office.

The British Rules of Racing need to be changed to ensure that all true professional horsemen and horsewomen are not condemned and exploited for the high standard of expertise achieved through hard graft and endeavour.

A recent quote from Henrietta Knight:
“It takes years to produce a top racehorse, but only seconds to destroy one.”

What sort of advice is this? The Burnham Report commissioned by the British Horseracing Board, this must be the most desperate, dangerous and ignorant advice ever given to all British trainer, that they employ superstore shelf stackers to come in part time, to handle and ride out the thoroughbred racehorses placed in training by owners, to be paid the minimum wage?

Fontwell Stewards:
W Tufnell, JJ Aird, Mrs J Cavandish, A Wates, P Scoulier, R Alwen, CK Price, CS Hall, RAC Corbett, J Paxman. Stipediary Stewards PD Barton, TK Brennan.