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Published: 08:24 | 19/4/16

Geraghty's 30-day ban overturned


Barry Geraghty will be free to ride at next week's Punchestown Festival after succeeding in having his 30-day ban overturned on appeal.

Geraghty was punished for "failing to take all reasonable and permissible measures to obtain the best possible placing" aboard the Tony Martin-trained Noble Emperor at Limerick on April 3.

Noble Emperor finished second to Velocity Boy in the two-mile contest but the stewards found that the horse was not allowed to run on his merits under Rule 212.

The ban had been due to begin on April 17 and would have ruled Geraghty out of the Punchestown Festival and the conclusion of the British jumps season at Sandown, but he appealed the ruling.

The three-man panel heard evidence from Geraghty, Martin, Patrick Kennedy for owner JP McManus, journalist Donn McClean and fellow jockey Brian O'Connell before finding in Geraghty's favour.

"In our view, there was no opportunity for Noble Emperor to win the race at any relevant time," Judge Tony Hunt said as he delivered his verdict.

"This race must be looked at as an individual race. It turned out to be an unsatisfactory race with enterprising tactics used by the winning jockey. In our view, the opportunity to finish first was gone very early in the race. Second was the best possible position he could achieved given the way the race panned out."

Speaking after the verdict, Geraghty said: "It has been a long night. I am delighted with the decision. It was a tricky race for me to ride. I am just glad it was seen in its true light.

"I was flattened on the day when I heard of the suspension. It is the most shocked I have been in racing away from hearing news of injuries.

"I believed at every stage during the race that I was doing the right thing. If I was in a similar situation again, I would probably do what I did. That is what I believed was the right thing to do. I am glad that the appeals committee could relate to what I was trying to do."

The 60-day ban imposed on the horse was also overturned along with the €3,000 fine imposed on Martin.

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