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UK Officials Say No Rule Change On "Team Tactics"

Wednesday, 2nd July 2008

UK racing authorities "on either side of the Irish Sea will not examine how Aidan O'Brien employs pace-makers in big races, despite claims that recent races featured evidence of so-called 'team tactics'," reported racingpost.co.uk. In the latest chapter in a headline-hogging debate, jockey David McCabe on Ballydoyle pace-setter Hindu Kush in Sunday's Gr1 Irish Derby "moved off the rail & was seen looking to his right as Johnny Murtagh & Alessandro Volta challenged on his inside, hitting the front 4 furlongs out" in a move critically examined on the At The Races television coverage. It followed McCabe's ride on Honoured Guest in the Gr1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, when he "edged his mount away from the stands rail to leave a gap through which Murtagh & Haradasun went on to win". (See links to THE GREAT DEBATE in the panel on the right-hand side of this page.) Ballydoyle was similarly accused of team tactics by Frankie Dettori after George Washington won the 2006 Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, but was cleared of wrong-doing at a hearing at the then Horseracing Authority. The BHA has since redrafted its rules & spokesman Owen Byrne confirmed this week: "There are no plans to revisit the issue. We are not going to look at it again."

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