Last Tango at Fairyhouse before Lent!
The fall-out from the third race at Fairyhouse today saw some serious suspensions and a sizeable fine imposed over the running of a horse that went off at 50/1.
I didn't see the race so can't make any comment on that front.
However, the Stewards definitely weren't impressed as they imposed sanctions under Rule 212A (ii).
Tango Theatre is probably an apt enough name for the poor old horse that has been banned for 60 days - and can't run again until sometime around St Patrick's Day - a kind of advance equine Lent.
What do you do with a horse that has been banned from running?
Today, Tango Theatre was having a second run for trainer John McConnell with a seven-pound claimer on board and the duo finished fourth at 50/1 in a two-mile maiden hurdle.
That was a marked improvement on the first time out effort at 100/1 in a two-and-a-half-mile maiden hurdle for McConnell at Navan in December where the then five-year-old finished about 70 lengths behind the winner Clondaw Secret.
However, today at Fairyhouse the Stewards weren't happy.
In football terms enter VAR:
Having viewed the recording of the race and considered the evidence, the Stewards were satisfied that the trainer and jockey were in breach of a particular Rule 212A (ii) - no evidence from the poor old horse.
I have no idea either what that rule states, but everyone, even the poor old horse, was in breach of it.
But you can depend on The Meath Chronicle to ask the questions.
We contacted Tango Theatre late tonight with a direct question:
"Well Tango, were you in breach of Rule 212A (ii) today at Fairyhouse?
Tango Theatre replied (in what could have been a type of Scottish accent) - "Neigh" before returning to her oats.
The consequences of all the VAR-type evidence
The Stewards fined the trainer €3,000.
The Stewards suspended the jockey for 21 days.
The Stewards also instructed that the jockey's riding fee should be forfeited.
The Stewards suspended Tango Theatre from running for 60 days.