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Tuesday 19 November 2019

Kemboy grounded with entry ban

An Air Ambulance arriving at Thurles racecourse for David Mullins who suffered a fall from Lean And Keen in the 2m 2f handicap chase at Thurles
An Air Ambulance arriving at Thurles racecourse for David Mullins who suffered a fall from Lean And Keen in the 2m 2f handicap chase at Thurles

Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Kemboy could be barred from running for the foreseeable future following a ban on entries and declarations registered in the ownership of Supreme Horse Racing Club.

The syndicate, which has all its horses with champion trainer Willie Mullins, hit the headlines last season through the exploits of Kemboy, who was last seen winning the Punchestown Gold Cup in May.

Horse Racing Ireland has requested answers from Supreme in relation to what the governing body described as "a number of queries and concerns", and said it has so far received "an unsatisfactory response".

In a statement, HRI owner relations manager Aidan McGarry said: "Horse Racing Ireland has engaged with Supreme Horse Racing Club to seek information to resolve a number of queries and concerns. Following an unsatisfactory response from Supreme Horse Racing Club, Horse Racing Ireland, under Horse Racing Ireland Directive 15, has suspended Supreme Horse Racing Club's ownership accounts from all activity, including the running of horses from Monday, October 21.

"At all times Supreme Horse Racing Club was aware that the penalty for the non-delivery of the information requested by Horse Racing Ireland would be that a hold would be put on all entries and declarations for horses registered by Supreme Horse Racing Club."

Seasonal

Kemboy had been in line to make his seasonal reappearance in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal next weekend. Other notable horses owned by the syndicate include Aramon and Cadmium, a winner at last season's Grand National meeting.

Supreme Horse Racing Club declined to comment when contacted.

Mullins, meanwhile, has backed the decision to move the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle from Sunday to Saturday this year, after 11 entries were revealed for the Punchestown showpiece.

Mullins is looking to win the Grade One for the ninth year in a row. Thousand Stars began his monopoly in 2011, Hurricane Fly won it three years in a row before Nichols Canyon doubled up. Faugheen and Sharjah have won the last two.

Those races all took place on a Sunday, but at the request of the sponsors the race has been brought forward 24 hours, to November 16, due to the Unibet-sponsored Greatwood Hurdle taking place at Cheltenham on the Sunday.

"I'm sure running on Saturday may offer some good exposure for the race and for Punchestown, which can only be a positive," said Mullins.

"Unibet have been good supporters of Irish racing and a change of day will certainly not affect the horses on what is a great weekend of racing."

The trainer's nephew, David Mullins, was reported to be "alert, speaking and moving all limbs" after being airlifted to Cork University hospital following a heavy fall at Thurles yesterday.

Falling

Mullins - who the Grand National at Aintree in 2016 aboard Rule The World - was riding Lean And Keen for Sean Bryne in the www.thurlesraces.ie Handicap Chase, when falling at the fourth fence.

On the second circuit the fence was bypased as Mullins was attended to by medical staff, before an air ambulance was called and landed on the track. As a result the following race was delayed by 30 minutes.

Dr Linsey Mason said: "David Mullins has been airlifted to Cork University Hospital for further investigation following a fall in the second race. David was alert, speaking, moving all limbs and comfortable."

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