Racing: Connections of Falbrav contest Turf Club verdict

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The Independent Online

The connections of Falbrav, beaten a neck by High Chaparral in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday, have appealed against the Irish Turf Club's decision not to disqualify the winner.

Falbrav was unable to find a clear run over a furlong out and then had to be switched by Darryll Holland in the closing stages as High Chaparral edged left. Holland then objected to the winner for "taking my ground close home", but his objection was overruled at the stewards' inquiry.

"The owners have instructed me to lodge an appeal," Falbrav's trainer, Luca Cumani, said yesterday. "The grounds for the appeal are that we feel there is sufficient evidence to say that our horse was impeded from winning. It is regrettable that this has happened, but we feel we are the innocent party."

Turf Club officials have confirmed that an appeal had been received from both the owner and trainer of Falbrav.

There were no surprise withdrawals at yesterday's confirmation stage for the final Classic of the season, the St Leger, at Doncaster on Saturday. Aidan O'Brien, who trains Brian Boru, the 2-1 favourite, has also left in Powerscourt, although he is expected to run in the Irish equivalent on the same day.

Michael Stoute, still looking for his first St Leger win, runs Hawk Flyer, third behind Powerscourt and Brian Boru in last month's Great Voltigeur Stakes at York. The unexposed Phoenix Reach represents the first-season trainer Andrew Balding, who has already sent out one Classic winner this year with Casual Look in the Oaks.

Amanda Perrett, who trained Demophilos, runner-up to Milan in 2001, saddles Westmoreland Road, the intended mount of Pat Eddery in what will be his final St Leger, while Alan King, better known as a jumps trainer, will have his first Classic runner with the Ebor third Salsalino.

Conditions at Doncaster are likely to be on the fast side and the going is currently described as "good to firm, good in places". "We had one millimetre of rain on Friday night and none since then," the course manager, Malcolm Taylor, said. "Since 30 July we have had just seven millimetres, so we have been watering intensively since the beginning of August.

"They say showers are likely over the next couple of days and Wednesday is likely to be our wettest day. So on the back of an unsettled forecast we have got to be a little big cagey and we have stopped watering."

ST LEGER (Doncaster, Saturday). Ladbrokes: 2-1 Brian Boru, 6-1 Hawk Flyer, Phoenix Reach, 8-1 Maharib, Westmoreland Road, 9-1 High Accolade, 10-1 Moments Of Joy, Salsalino, 14-1 Summitville, 20-1 Let Me Try Again, 40-1 Wavertree Boy, 50-1 Gold Medallist, 100-1 Santando, Titurel.

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