Dashel Drasher team win Appeal

The Dashel Drasher team have won the appeal against the local stewards to demote him from second to third place in the Paddy Power Stayers hurdle at Cheltenham.

The gelding who was trained by Jeremy Scott, had a 40-1 chance at the races when ridden by Rex Dingle in the 3 mile grade 1 back in March.

The 10 year old ended up drifting on the approach in the final flight, later being deemed by the Stewards that this movement interfered with the challenge mounted by Gordon Elliot’s Teahupoo.

The eventual winner, Sire Du Berlais, was three-quarters of a length clear at the line and was not involved, but Teahupoo missed out by just a nose and the stewards considered that margin to be equal to or greater than the ground he had lost due to the alleged interference.

As a result the placings were reversed after an inquiry on the day, with the Rex Dingle-ridden Dashel Drasher demoted to third and Teahupoo instated as the runner-up.

Dashel Drasher yellow helmet

In the case there were many statements taken;

“My route has been dictated by the horse on my outside (Dashel Drasher) because I’ve no other option, he’s drifting to the left,” he said.

“I can pull my right rein and collide with him, which is something that is not going to go to my advantage or to Mr Dingle’s advantage.

“I pull across and came up a length and a half from that point in distance, if I had a straight run I feel not only would I have finished in front of him but I would have won the race.”

He said: “Flooring Porter is intimidating Teahupoo, we were clear in distance from Teahupoo and Mr Russell has not had to stop riding at all.

“From turning in until after the last, he’s had several opportunities to get by me, Dashel Drasher is idling but he is always holding Teahupoo.”

It was Scott’s position that there was no interference at all, which would negate any discussions on the effect of the interference or the relevance of the margin between the two horses when they crossed the line.

“We have spent nearly three hours discussing a five-second clip of racing in the context of a three-mile race, probably the most competitive staying race of the season in England,” Scott said.

“The notion that there is not going to be a certain amount of wavering going towards the last hurdle, to enable horses to correct themselves, to jump the hurdle safely, is ridiculous.

“This is not a Flat race, this is a jumping race and we put hurdles in the way to make it more interesting and, in my view, more fun.

“If we are going to penalise every horse that makes the slightest of errors or the slightest of movements going into a hurdle, then we may as well remove them.

“If he’d (Teahupoo) jumped that hurdle on a spot-on stride, then I’ve no doubt he would have got away from the hurdle as quickly as we did, but he didn’t because the horse made a mistake.

“The mistake may or may not have been caused by Davy Russell trying to pull his horse further left, but I don’t believe that it was Dashel Drasher that caused that interference.”

The panel retired to consider the evidence and returned to state they agreed with Scott’s submission that there had been no interference and therefore the stewards’ decision was to be overturned.

O’Mahony said: “We take judicial notice of the fact that in approaching hurdles, horses cannot be expected always to run straight. We’ve watched carefully the approach to that last hurdle and, although Teahupoo stayed on, we find he was demonstrably a tiring horse at that stage.

“Mr Russell used the whip three times in his approach to that final hurdle. We find he made more of a move laterally left in order to find a better stride in his approach to the hurdle.

“We conclude there was no interference because Dashel Drasher was clear. We have regard not just to the distance straight ahead but to the distance laterally. With the clearest evidence in our view from the tracker footage, there was daylight in both aspects.”

Dashel Drasher won the appeal and the ranking were not changed or revoked