Belfast Telegraph

Irish jockey probed after 'punching' his mount

By Jack Austin

An Irish jockey is being investigated after footage emerged of him seemingly punching his horse moments before a race.

Davy Russell, who won the 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup, appeared to aim a blow at his mount before the race began, but the incident was missed by the race day stewards at the time.

However, the video was shared on social media drawing a great deal of criticism of Russell and prompting the Irish Turf Club to examine the footage in closer detail.

The incident took place before a mares handicap hurdle in which Russell was aboard Kings Dolly.

Footage appeared to show the jockey lift his hand and thrust it towards the horse's face after she nearly fell over at a section of hurdle on the course.

"This is news to me," said Roger McGrath, the Co Waterford-based trainer of Kings Dolly, who eventually finished eighth. He added that the mare is "100%, she has no ill-effects. She ate up as soon as she got back".

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