A Turf Club investigation into the gamble landed by trainer Charles Byrnes at Roscommon Racecourse, Ireland, has been completed with racing’s integrity body concluding that no rules were broken.
Byrnes and jockey Davy Russell combined with three winners on 2 August when War Anthem (6-1), Mr Smith (7-4) and Top Of The Town (5-4) helped land a multi-million blow to bookmakers, with all three horses belying poor recent performances.
Any punter on at the very early prices would have netted a combined treble of 4,334-1 on War Anthem, Mr Smith and Top Of The Town, and the Turf Club confirmed it would investigate the gamble further as all three runners had shown little in previous starts.
They looked at recent runs of the trio and also conducted a detailed inspection of Byrnes’ yard where, a Turf Club statement said, the trainer “co-operated fully at all times.”
At Roscommon, Byrnes was called before the stewards to explain the improvement of his three horses, with officials expressing their satisfaction with the explanations given.
However, Turf Club chief executive Denis Egan exercised their “power to examine the matter,” and “having considered the evidence, no rule breaches were identified and the Turf Club will not be taking any further action in this matter.”
Speaking after the touches had been landed, Byrnes said: “It’s just the way it turned out. I won’t say that I planned this. I just had a bunch of six or seven horses that hit form and I thought, to hell with it, I may as well throw three or four of them in together and we only put it together in the last couple of weeks.”
-Photo: Jockey Davy Russell and trainer Charles Byrnes.