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)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Robin van Persie leaves the field at the King Power Stadium last Sunday
football
News
In this photo illustration, the Twitter logo and hashtag '#Ring!' is displayed on a mobile device as the company announced its initial public offering and debut on the New York Stock Exchange on November 7, 2013 in London, England. Twitter went public on the NYSE opening at USD 26 per share, valuing the company's worth at an estimated USD 18 billion.
news

Arts and Entertainment
tvPresenter back after daughter's Halloween accident
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch as John Watson and Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock
tv

Co-creator Mark Gatiss dropped some very intriguing hints ahead of the BBC drama's return next year

Arts and Entertainment
music Band accidentally drops four-letter description at concert
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Female Support Workers / Carers - From £8.00 per hour

£8 - £12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To assist a young family with the care ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Executive is required...

Argyll Scott International: Commercial Finance Manager

£55000 - £70000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world lead...

Argyll Scott International: Commercial Finance Manager

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world leading services pr...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines