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O'Briens sanctioned for ignoring Covid protocols



Donnacha O'Brien with his father Aidan

Donnacha O'Brien with his father Aidan

Donnacha O'Brien with his father Aidan

Trainers Aidan and Donnacha O'Brien have been fined €2,500 each and prohibited from attending race meetings in Ireland for two weeks for failing to enter the Curragh through the health screening area at a meeting last month.

The pair were found to have breached coronavirus health screening protocols at the County Kildare course on June 12, which was Irish 2,000 Guineas day during the week racing resumed in Ireland. The matter was heard by the referrals panel of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board yesterday.

A tweet from the IHRB read: "At a referral hearing of Aidan O'Brien (Trainer) & Donnacha O'Brien (Trainer) following a referral from The Curragh on 12/06/20 both trainers were fined €2,500 & prohibited from attending a racecourse for 2 weeks for failing to enter The Curragh through the health screening area."

IHRB press officer Niall Cronin explained: "We noted the decision of the referrals committee and the various protocols regarding Covid-19 are very serious.

"It is important that they are strictly adhered to at all times to make sure that racing can continue in a safe manner for everyone involved."

Meanwhile, A trip to York for the Nunthorpe is the next major target for Sceptical following another excellent effort in defeat in Saturday's Darley July Cup.

Denis Hogan's four-year-old has made remarkable progress since opening his account at Dundalk in November - going on to complete a hat-trick at the County Louth venue before landing a Listed prize at Naas and finishing a half-length third in the King's Stand at Royal Ascot.

With Frankie Dettori keeping the ride at Newmarket, Sceptical this time filled the runner-up spot, a length and a quarter behind the Roger Teal-trained Oxted.

Hogan reports his stable star to have returned to Ireland none the worse and he will now be prepared for a third tilt at Group One glory in the Coolmore-sponsored feature on August 21.

"At the moment the plan is to go for the Nunthorpe," said the Tipperary-based trainer.

"Frankie felt coming back to five (furlongs) would suit, which obviously means we'll have to take on Battaash, but we'll probably give it a go."

Belfast Telegraph