Kinane left in suspense as Club ponders

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Michael Kinane will not discover until this morning whether he will be able to partner Galileo, the hot favourite, in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot tomorrow. Kinane's appeal to the Irish Turf Club against a riding ban imposed by stewards at Leopardstown last week opened late yesterday afternoon, but the Appeals Committee was unable to reach a decision last night and the hearing was adjourned until today.

Kinane was found guilty of careless riding after a Listed race last week. Riding Sophisticat, the odds-on favourite for the Silver Flash Stakes, he switched left inside the final furlong in search of running room, causing interference to two runners near the stands rail as a result. Kinane is a very rare visitor to the stewards' room, however, and yesterday's appeal was against both the charge of careless riding, and the severity of his ban, which sidelined him both today and tomorrow.

The adjournment of the Turf Club's hearing means that one vital piece of information is still missing almost 24 hours after the rest of the puzzle was put together. One former Group One winner, Mutafaweq, was taken out of the King George at yesterday's final declaration stage, but the 12 remaining names include six with a previous success at the highest level to their name. Along with Hightori, who was touched off by a short-head in the Group One Prix d'Ispahan in May, and Mutamam, a Group Two winner last time out, they will provide the sternest possible test of Galileo's claim to a place among the turf's immortals.

The race should be run at a furious pace too, as both Ice Dancer, a stablemate of Galileo, and Godolphin's Give The Slip, last year's Ebor winner, have been left in the field to set a searching gallop. "The important thing for Fantastic Light is we need good pace in the race," Saeed bin Suroor, Godolphin's trainer, said yesterday. "Give The Slip is the ideal horse, he does such a good job. It has worked twice, in Ireland and last time, [but] I'm sure we'll find a nice race for Give The Slip in his own right."

The first day of the King George meeting this afternoon offers three fascinating handicaps, in particular the two-mile Brown Jack Handicap, in which at least six of the 11 runners hold claims on recent form. Juyush seems sure to set the strong pace which horses like Treasure Chest and Danegold – who won this two years ago off a 2lb higher mark – need to produce their best, while the three-year-old Taffrail (next best 2.45), with just seven races behind him, has the potential to improve past them all. John Dunlop, his trainer, has few peers when it comes to keeping a young horse ahead of the handicapper.

The sprint handicap may provide a guide to the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood a week tomorrow, as CONTINENT (nap 3.15), the top weight, is a stablemate of Undeterred, the favourite for that race, and also finished behind him in a strongly run race at Newcastle last time. Continent did not find much running room there but ran on to finish fifth, and with David Nicholls's string in top form and Kieren Fallon booked to ride, he will take some beating. In the October Club Charity Handicap, the strapping filly Intrepidous (3.50) may be able to lug 9st 7lb to victory.

While the Appeals Committee in Ireland busied itself with Michael Kinane yesterday, the Disciplinary Committee of the Jockey Club in London found itself at a loose end, when Ian Mongan, an apprentice rider, failed to turn up for a hearing because he was "too frightened". Mongan tested positive for a diuretic, used to aid rapid weight-loss, after racing at Newbury on 20 April, and was due to appear at Portman Square to explain himself.

However, yesterday was also a work morning at the yard of Gary Moore, Mongan's retaining trainer, and the rider was there when he should have been in London. "I blame the Jockey Club as much as anyone," Moore said. "In the old days, they used to let the trainer know that a kid had to be at an inquiry. He was too frightened to ask me to go. I don't think he wanted me to find out."

Comments