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Ronan McNally: Irish trainer set to appeal after found guilty of multiple charges in IHRB investigation

Ronan McNally trained Dreal Deal, winner of the 2021 Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle, and The Jam Man who won the Troytown Handicap Chase in 2020; an IHRB Referrals Committee considered several charges, with a sanctions hearing to be held in due course

Irish trainer Ronan McNally
Image: Irish trainer Ronan McNally

Irish trainer Ronan McNally has had several charges "proven" by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, including 'causing serious damage to the interests of horseracing in Ireland'.

Charges proven include using the racecourse as a training ground by running horses insufficiently schooled, in order to obtain handicap marks not reflective of their ability.

McNally has also been charged with deliberately permitting The Jam Man to run other than on his merits when riding the horse in July 2020 at Navan.

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The IHRB is also satisfied that McNally, through the following conduct as a licensed trainer caused serious damage to the interests of horseracing in Ireland, having been charged with passing information about the condition and wellbeing of Dreal Deal to allow others profit from betting on the horse with a betting organisation.

The Jam Man, also owned by McNally, won the valuable Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan in 2020 and has career earnings of just shy of £200,000, while Dreal Deal won the Grade Two Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle in January 2021.

McNally has stated he is "deeply disappointed and dissatisfied" with the decision and outlined his intention to appeal the decision.

He told the PA news agency: "On legal advice I don't want to make too much comment at this stage as there is still another hearing in January to attend. However, I am deeply disappointed and dissatisfied with the findings to date.

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"No penalties are finalised yet and I still have the right to appeal the original charges.I will almost certainly be appealing the charges. I am very unhappy with the findings."

A date for a sanctions hearing will be set in due course.

Jockeys in breach of various charges

Amateur jockey Eoin O'Brien was found in breach of all four charges against him in relation to his ride on Dreal Deal in a maiden at Navan in July 2020, beaten 45 lengths in 10th of 18 runners.

Darragh O'Keeffe was found in breach of just one of the four charges he faced relating to his ride on Dreal Deal in a maiden at Gowran Park in June 2020, in which he finished 13th of 15 runners.

The committee were not satisfied that O'Keeffe deliberately prevented the horse from running on its merits, but established that he failed to report the slow start and/or that the horse took a blow during the race.

Jockey Mark Enright was also in breach of failing to make a report on Dreal Deal's slow start at the Curragh in July 2020 when finishing last in a mile maiden, but was cleared of three other charges.

More to follow…

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