Turf Club to scrutinise form of Byrnes trio
The Turf Club will review the past performances of the three winners trainer Charles Byrnes saddled at Roscommon on Tuesday night before deciding if any possible investigation into their much-improved displays is merited.
Jockey Davy Russell guided War Anthem (6-1), Mr Smith (7-4F) and Top Of The Crown (5-4F) to victory, with all three runners well backed despite their dismal recent displays on the racecourse.
Byrnes was called before the stewards to explain the improvement of War Anthem and Mr Smith, with officials expressing their satisfaction with the explanations he furnished to the degree that they opted to take no further action.
The stewards arrived at those verdicts despite hearing evidence from Turf Club National Hunt handicapper Andrew Shaw that War Anthem – beaten almost 140 lengths in his last two starts – had shown “abnormal improvement”.
Turf Club chief executive Denis Egan told RTÉ Sport that the matter was not closed and that the video form of the winners would be viewed again, with the Turf Club not subject to the same time constraints as racecourse stewards.
Egan said: “The matter was examined. The stewards held two improvement-in-form inquiries and noted the explanation given by the stewards.
“They would have taken evidence from the trainer and the handicapper.
“The fact they noted the explanation still gives the Turf Club the power to examine the matter.”
Byrnes, who was just off target with a couple of well-supported runners during the Galway Races was uncharacteristically ebullient after his Roscommon, telling reporters: “After Galway we needed it.
“I did my brains in at Galway with Sea Light and Crystal Pearl.
"That's my first treble. It's just the way it happened. I wouldn't say I planned it.
"I had a bunch of horses come into form and I put them in together. It was the last couple of weeks I was able to put it together. Long-term it would be impossible to plan."