What the **** is going on in Ireland?

By on February 5, 2021

I don’t know if you’ve been following the racing news across the Irish Sea, but it’s been a bit crazy over there recently.

Three things in particular have caught my eye…

First, we had the Charles Byrne doping scandal.

Just in case you didn’t follow this, here’s the scoop:

The Cheltenham Festival-winning trainer was banned for six months in a doping scandal last week.

His horse, Viking Hoard tested positive for acepromazine, which slows down a horse’s heart rate.

The horse had been heavily bet to lose that day so someone must have been quids in.

(Though no evidence was found linking Byrne to those wagers).

He admitted to leaving the horse alone on two occasions for a total of approximately 25 minutes after arriving at Tramore, which the IHRB characterized as “neglect of the trainer” which may have allowed an unidentified third party to administer the drug to the horse.

Even if he wasn’t involved, how many times does this go on unnoticed?

If you recall in the summer Jim Bolger even came out and said Irish racing had a problem with doping.

Secondly, we had a controversial decision at Navan where Gordon Elliott’s horse was clearly impeded and lost by a nose.

The trainer labelled the standard of stewards enquiries in Ireland as “barbaric.”

And then on Sunday we had the false start fiasco at Naas.

Some of the field were hampered at the start and yet, Derek Cullen, the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board starter, didn’t call a false start.

It led to some bookmakers refunding bets.

And Ruby Walsh calling it “shambolic”.

What the **** is going on over there?

Any Irish racing aficionados care to cast some light on proceedings?

It’s the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown this weekend, including the Irish Gold Cup.

Fingers’ crossed it goes off without any more controversy.


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