Racing: Knight and Murphy cleared in 'non-trier' case

Henrietta Knight and Timmy Murphy lost twice in one race at Towcester earlier this month when Harringay ran a stinker and the pair were then fined £1,000 and banned for 14 days respectively under a "non-triers" rule. Yesterday, though, they won the big one, on appeal at the Jockey Club, and their punishments were lifted.

Lord Rathcreedan, the chairman of the disciplinary panel, said Harringay had not been ridden to obtain the best possible placing, but, in the circumstances, Murphy's decision on how to ride the horse was not unreasonable. The jockey said he heard his mount making a choking noise. "I'm very happy. It's the right decision," Murphy said.

It had not been a good week for Knight. The Towcester fine came two days after Best Mate's death at Exeter. Yesterday felt better.

"I am very pleased and relieved to have had my name cleared," she said. "I would not have been at all happy if the appeal had not been successful. I always try to do the best for my horses and will continue to do so in the future."

It is not a pretty race to watch, the prosaic FreeTips@gg.com Mares' Only National Hunt Novices' Hurdle. Harringay, the well-backed 9-4 second favourite, travelled well and jumped similarly for much of the contest, but was never seen in the front rank. Eventually, after the last, she ran on gently under perfunctory encouragement from the saddle. It was the sort of quiet run which would have had shop punters launching their balled betting slips at the bank of televisions.

What no one knew at the time, though, was that Murphy would return with that favourite of all jockey get-outs, the revelation that the horse gurgled. Only this time it seemed to be true. Harringay possesses a history of breathing problems and her jockey reported he felt her go again on the run to the third last. Observing protocol, he alerted officials to the problem on his return.

Patrick Russell, for the Jockey Club, said the fact of Murphy's unusual stillness in the saddle was not disputed by anyone. "This appeal is over the reason for the quiet ride," he said.

It became distilled to a question of the rectitude of the most famous woman trainer and perhaps the most naturally talented horseman around.

Veterinary evidence was taken from Geoffrey Lane for the defence, an expert in equine respiratory disorders in the upper airways, and, for the Jockey Club, Safia Barakzai of Edinburgh University, who used to be a student of Lane's.

It was Lane who had performed surgery to Harringay, including work on her soft palate and other areas affecting her breathing. It was Lane who witnessed his work failing. "About 60-65 per cent [of the operations] have a successful outcome, but that then means that 35-40 per cent have a disappointing outcome," he said. "Sadly I have to accept that this surgery has apparently failed."

Barakzai gave evidence that Harringay would not have been damaged if Murphy had forced the mare to greater effort. "It is not compromising the welfare of the horse," she said. "The horse is not going to collapse. It will simply fall back."

Punters were not the only figures aghast by Harringay's display. "Initially I was disappointed," Knight added. "I had told Timmy to conserve her strength and get a nice rhythm into her breathing."

It was Knight's breathing which changed when she was asked to appear before the stewards. "I was very, very disappointed," she said. "We don't run our horses like that at all. We run them the best possible way. It has never happened to me before a case like this."

Murphy, who eventually finished fifth on Harringay, said: "That is the closest I could have finished. She was making a noise and I gave her every chance to get home. If a horse is gurgling and you don't give it a chance you will end up pulling up. I wouldn't have even got to the last if I had put her under pressure. I stand by the way I rode her.

"I don't care how much an owner has had on a horse, I don't care how much a trainer has on or the public. It is the horse's best interests which matter for me. If the same thing happened tomorrow I would do the same thing again."

Harringay has already proved a dangerous horse for Knight and Murphy and will continue to be dangerous for punters as she is to be given one more chance on the track, probably with her tongue tied down. "If we are going to run her again we must try something else," Knight said, "otherwise she is going to be a write-off for ever."

Richard Edmondson

Nap: Ladalko (Newbury 3.15)

NB: Garde Champetre

(Newbury 1.35)

Travel
travel
Sport
football
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
musicKate Bush asks fans not to take photos at London gigs
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Energy Engineer

£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy En...

Sales Representative, Leicester

£25-£30k Plus Car: Charter Selection: Major well established nationwide market...

Sales Representative, Birmingham

£25-£30k Plus Car: Charter Selection: Major well established nationwide market...

HR Administration Manager - Hounslow, West London

£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Administration Manager...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment