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Galway Jockey Hailed For Sportsmanship During Cheltenham Enquiry

Galway Jockey Hailed For Sportsmanship During Cheltenham Enquiry
By PJ Browne
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After a stewards' enquiry was called following the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham on St Patrick's Day, Mick Fitzgerald joked about what Paddy Brennan would be telling the officials.

"Oh, I was murdered! He crossed me. He pulled me all the way across the track. He definitely cost me the race."

ITV then cut to the live feed from the Cheltenham stewards' room where Brennan was saying very much the opposite.

Galway jockey Brennan, on board 11/2 joint favourite Alaphilippe, had just been beaten to the line by a neck by Wexford man Tom O'Brien and Third Wind.

Moments after the finish, the klaxon sounded on course with the suspicion being that there had been interference between the winner and the runner-up. Though, nobody apart from the stewards seemed to believe that was the case.

Third Wind wins Pertemps at Cheltenham

"To be honest, when I heard there was a stewards' enquiry, I was surprised," Brennan told the stewards.


"I didn't feel any interference. There was a big crowd out there today, and I felt I had a good crack at it. In sport, I'm a fair player, and I didn't feel like there was any reason why I got beat there."


This was the exchange which followed:

Tom O'Brien: As you can see there, we've both gone a little to the right. I didn't feel his touch. I think my horse slightly followed Paddy's to the right. I was flicking with my right hand. If we'd touched, I'd have taken more corrective actions but I didn't feel we touched.


Steward: When you look at the video of the run to the line, would it be in your view that the two horses make independent moves drifting to the stand side?

Paddy Brennan: It's two horses drifting. We never stopped riding. Sometimes, when you're in that position in the driver's seat, if you're losing no momentum, which I didn't, I felt I had a clean crack at it. When the steward's enquiry was called, I was surprised. I can see here now that we both did drift, but I suffered no interference.

Tom O'Brien: I feel mine drifted with Paddy's.

The stewards swiftly decided that there would be no alteration to the placings.

See Also: Ruby Walsh Knows What Paul Townend Is Going Through After Galopin Des Champs Fall

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