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O'Brien awaits BHA disciplinary panel's verdict on Cape Blanco.

Byline: Graham Green

AIDAN O'BRIEN is due to learn today what penalty has been imposed by the BHA disciplinary panel today over the Cape Blanco saga.

A fortnight ago Ireland's champion trainer pleaded guilty to "acting in a manner prejudicial to the conduct of horseracing in Great Britain" in the wake of the colt's win in the Dante Stakes at York in May.

The admission was made after the wording of the charge was amended following discussion between the two parties, removing the suggestion O'Brien had acted in a manner prejudicial to the good reputation of British racing.

The Ballydoyle trainer also admitted two charges of encouraging and/or causing his employee, Pat Keating, to fail to comply with two instructions issued by the York stewards; first, that Cape Blanco be trotted up before the BHA's veterinary officer and the senior racecourse veterinary surgeon, and second, to attend a stewards' inquiry after refusing to allow the colt to be trotted up.

Keating admitted to being twice in breach of rule (B) 83 regarding the failure to comply with the above instructions.

The affair stems from O'Brien's concerns regarding the fitness of Cape Blanco after the colt aggravated an old heel injury during the race, in which he beat subsequent Derby and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Workforce.

Explaining his stance at the time, O'Brien said: "We got him back to the yard and got it iced and poulticed, and the lads got him comfortable and ready for home.

"And what happens next? The vets come down and say they want to see the horse trotting - not for his benefit, but theirs. It's the most insane thing I've ever heard. Why would you want to trot him again on a bruised heel and cause him more pain?" The result of the Sabre Light corruption inquiry, in which Newmarket trainer Jeff Pearce, jockey Jerry O'Dwyer, and former Classic-winning trainer Geoff Huffer were among eight people facing an array of charges related to the horse's running in a Lingfield claimer two years ago, is expected to be announced tomorrow.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Dec 20, 2010
Words:347
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