O'Brien in hot water over Cape Blanco refusal

At the time, it must have seemed the most satisfying of races, but Aidan O'Brien must be looking back with increasing exasperation on the success of Cape Blanco in the Dante Stakes at York last month. Never mind that his colt lost his unbeaten record on Sunday, with a lifeless exhibition at Chantilly; or that the runner-up, Workforce, had in the meantime smashed the track record in the Derby itself. Yesterday the British Horseracing Authority confirmed that O'Brien would have to answer charges over a controversy at the York racecourse stables, later that afternoon – and one of those is, in effect, that he had brought the British sport into disrepute. In view of their history together, this would seem a fairly inflammatory flourish of the BHA cutlass.

O'Brien and one of his senior employees, Pat Keating, will be summoned to a hearing in London after refusing to have Cape Blanco trotted up before the BHA veterinary officer and the racecourse veterinary surgeon, back at the stables. The colt had exacerbated a recent heel bruise during the race, and television cameras had already shown him being trotted up immediately afterwards. Keating, as O'Brien's representative on the track, was then ordered to attend a stewards' inquiry, but declined to do so. One of the BHA rules requires licensed individuals to "comply with any instructions given by the Stewards of a meeting". O'Brien will be further charged, not only with "encouraging or causing" Keating to breach that rule, but also with acting in a manner "prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct or good reputation of horseracing in Great Britain".

O'Brien knew that charges were in the offing but it seems safe to say that he will be speechless over this one. In 2008, after contentiously charging the stable with "team tactics", the BHA fined O'Brien £5,000 over the riding of a pacemaker at Newmarket, and suspended his principal jockey, Johnny Murtagh, under this same rule relating to "prejudicial" conduct.

Those who have decided to raise the stakes at the BHA only had to read the trade newspaper, the following day, to know how indignant he felt about the request to trot up Cape Blanco. "Everyone could see [the horse] was in discomfort," O'Brien told the Racing Post. "So we got him back down to the yard, got it iced and poulticed, and the lads got him comfortable and ready for home. And what happens next? The vets come down and say they want to see the horse trotting – not for his benefit, but for theirs. It's the most insane thing I've ever heard. Why would you want to trot him again on a bruised heel, and cause him more pain? So the lads called me and I said 'no'. The horse comes first, and under no circumstances was this horse allowed to trot." He also explained that his staff could not attend the stewards' inquiry as they were in danger of missing their flight home to Ireland.

His employers will have hoped that O'Brien could retrieve their investment in the Coolmore Stud Fillies' Stakes, a Group Three prize at Naas yesterday. But Catherineofaragon could never land a blow behind an impressive winner in Radharcnafarraige, who will now try to emulate her trainer's 2008 winner, Cuis Ghaire, in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot on Friday week. Jim Bolger reckons that she is not quite as powerful as Cuis Ghaire at the same stage – but that she would be in time. Radharcnafarraige is certainly improving with experience, in the manner of so many of Bolger's tougher fillies over the years.

Richard Hannon Jnr, assistant trainer to his father, said yesterday that there is "still a very small chance" that Paco Boy would drop down to six furlongs at the royal meeting, in the Golden Jubilee Stakes, but indicated that a clash with Goldikova and Rip Van Winkle in the Queen Anne Stakes next Tuesday remained much his most likely target.

Turf account

Nap Valantino Oyster (5.15 Redcar)

Bred for middle distances at least so three sprint maidens never likely to play to his strengths at two, and would only need a little ability to beat this lot off the low rating acquired in the process.

Next best

Lockantanks (2.45 Salisbury)

Took a bit of time to find his feet for his new stable but better effort at Musselburgh last time and has been set a sensible task in this claimer, with the in-form Fallon at the wheel.



One to watch

Run For The Hills (J H M Gosden) met heavy traffic after struggling with the contours at Epsom on Saturday and did well to finish as close as he did in sixth.



Where the money's going

Hawkeyethenoo, fast-finishing second in the big sprint handicap on Derby day, is 8-1 from 9-1 with William Hill for the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot next week.

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Lettings and Sales Negotiator - OTE £46,000

£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Home Care Worker - Reading and Surrounding Areas

£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn