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Viking Hoard and Charles Byrnes suspension | The danger to horse and jockey

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

16:48 22 Jan 2021

The incident that saw horse trainer Charles Byrnes suspended for six months has had a huge impact in the racing sphere, with the health of the horse and jockey one major risk taken.

Johnny Ward joined Ger on Friday Night Racing, after a week that saw Byrnes suspended after one of his horses tested positive for a banned substance. Byrnes does plan to appeal the ruling.

Viking Hoard was pulled up in a handicap hurdle at Tramore in October of 2018 and was found to have tested positive for a sedative.

Ward explained on the show that the impact on horse and jockey is one that needs to be discussed.

"The horse could barely jump a hurdle he was that sedated. His levels of sedative were totally off the charts. Whoever administered this to the animal basically did an awful, awful thing to that animal.

"[They] endangered the life of the animal, and the jockey on the animal, and also anyone basically around the animal who somehow, in his own bravery and being subservient to the masters that we are, the human, he basically tried to do the best he could despite being dosed with sedative."

Ward also explained that the impact on the betting exchange and punters who backed the horse is significant.

"I don't know what price Burnley were to beat Liverpool last night, it was probably a pretty big price, but you had that bet on in good faith and you were confident that if Liverpool had an off night maybe somehow Burnley could win, which they did.

"Viking Hoard that morning in the betting was something like two-to-1, and then he opened up at four-to-1 on-track, and then he was sent off eight-to-1, but more importantly I think he was sent off 16.5-to-1 or thereabouts on Betfair.

"The two-to-1 would imply that he had a 33 per cent chance of winning roughly, four-to-1 would imply that he had a 20 per cent chance of winning, eight-to-one would imply that he had an 11 per cent chance of winning, and the price he went off would imply that he had roughly a six per cent chance of winning - when in fact he had less than no per cent chance of winning.

"The less relevant point of all this is the fact that if you backed this horse, you had absolutely no chance - whether you had five euro, ten euro, or a thousand euro [on it].

"If you backed it to place even - if you backed it to place you might have thought you had a chance. You had absolutely no chance, and this all came out in the case."

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#EveryRacingMoment David Mullins FNR Friday Night Racing Ger Gilroy HRI Racing Johnny Ward Mullins Off The Ball Racing

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