Tag Archives: Irish Racing

Downey protests his innocence following French suspension

Kildare jockey Robbie Downey is actively protesting his innocence saying he will definitely be appealing and doing everything he can to clear his name after receiving a 6-month suspension from racing authorities in France after allegedly testing positive for taking cocaine.

The 24 year old, who is based in Britain, has had two independent hair tests carried out, which returned negative results for the drug, however the authorities in France have refused to take them into consideration.

Understandably Downey is upset by this and has made public the results of his tests, saying he is “bitterly disappointed to have been found in breach” and that authorities have ignored the medical evidence he presented which shows he has not taken the drug.

An official report posted by France Galop reveals that Downey, who has been used mainly this season by trainers David O’Meara and David Barron and who has ridden nine UK winners, tested positive for metabolics of cocaine while in action at Lion d’Angers on June 19th of this year.

At a France Galop hearing on October 3rd, the Kilcock native was found guilty. The verdict has stunned Downey and indeed the Professional Jockey’s Association, who will ask, if necessary, that the BHA reciporate the punishment which is due to come into effect from October 24th to April 23rd 2020.

The PJA have claimed a complete miscarriage of justice after the France Galop imposed a six month suspension for allegedly riding under the influence of cocaine, despite Downey providing two hair tests that returned negative for the drug.

The PJA’s plan to appeal this comes in light of the BHA announcing last month that it may introduce hair testing, give that drug use can be detected in hair three months after consumption.

The PJA are extremely concerned that there could be a serious risk of a miscarriage of justice and chief executive Paul Struthers, who is firmly behind Downey, stated; “It must be extremely upsetting to be facing a six month suspension when you have never taken cocaine and I am very concerned that there is a risk of a miscarriage of justice.

“As soon as Robbie found out that his ‘A’ sample had returned a positive result he immediately paid for a hair sample at an accredited British laboratory in order to prove his innocence. He also paid for a second hair sample at an accredited French laboratory and both of these tests returned negative. These results clearly demonstrate that he hasn’t taken cocaine. We are greatly concerned that these two seperate and independent results have been ignored by France Galop.

“It is unclear why France Galop is refusing to apply the same testing thresholds that operate in other testing regimes and why they refuse to disclose the levels in Robbie’s urine, this despite the fact Robbie asked them to do so when reporting the analysis of his ‘B’ sample.

“We are therefore taking the unprecedented step of making those hair samples public to demonstrate that Robbie is telling the truth.

“The BHA recently announced that they would be bringing in hair sampling as an additional testing matrix and Robbie has two such samples that prove his innocence.

“In those circumstances it would be a grave injustice were he to be banned for six months for something he clearly hasn’t done.

In the publicised summary of the hearing the France Galop noted that, while the hair samples showed that Downey was not a habitual user of cocaine, they did not prove conclusively that he had not consumed the drug.

Downey said; “I am 100% innocent and have never taken the drug. I have two negative hair samples to back this up and I will be definitely appealing and doing everything I can to clear my name”

Downey’s trip to Cork worth every Penny

Robbie Downey with connections of ‘Miss Power’ after victory at Naas on May 1st.

Kilcock jockey Robbie Downey picked up his 2nd win in the month of May when he guided Mademoiselle Penny to victory at Cork on Saturday, May 6th.

Having gone through a barren spell of three months without success, Downey returned to the winners enclosure with Miss Power (7/1) for Edward Lynam on bank holiday Monday in a 5f handicap before adding to his roll of honour at Cork on Saturday. 

The Patrick Flynn trained Mademoiselle Penny (9/2 2Fav) went 2 lengths clear inside the final furlong before drifting left under pressure but held on ahead of Alcander back in 2nd, with Jazz Ranger back in 3rd. 

Downey will be hoping this is the start of a winning run as he continues his quest to reach his first 100 winners. He currently lies on 75. 

7 up for Maynooth jockey Davis

Maynooth jockey Sean Davis claimed his 7th career win when he partnered Repare Mon to victory for the second successive week at Dundalk tonight, April 7th.

Repare Mon (4/1) was one to follow tonight after overcoming trouble in running to triumph at the same venue last Friday and she duly followed up in the Kingbet Handicap this evening.

Davis explained afterwards: “She travelled a lot better tonight over the further trip (two miles as opposed to a mile and a half) and I was confident enough coming into the race.

“They went steady and then up the back we started to pick up a bit.

“Turning in I thought they might sprint away from me but she was good. I got a gap down the rail and she picked up. She won well.”

Trained by Tom Mullins and owned by Joseph Fitzpatrick, the Big Bad Bob filly eventually got up to beat Marino Marvel by 2 & 3/4 lengths, with favourite My Manekineko back in 3rd.


7th Winner

Meanwhile Sean Davis further explained: “That’s my seventh winner and third around here.

“My agent Kevin O’Ryan is doing a great job for me and getting me plenty of good rides.”

Photo copyright of Healy Racing.

Maynooth Jockey Davis Enjoys Dundalk Victory

Maynooth jockey Sean Davis secured his 6th career win when partnering Repare Mon to victory at Dundalk racecourse on Friday night, March 31st.

Davis, who works for Michael O’Callaghan in the Curragh, steered the 8/1 shot to success for trainer Tom Mullins, tracking the leaders early on before forging his way through to take the lead 1 furlong out and staying on to take the ‘Irishinjuredjockeys.com Handicap’.

The young Maynooth man is no stranger to winning and has previously landed the spoils for trainer Donal kinsella in a valuable €150,000 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Northfields Handicap at the Curragh on Longines Irish Champions weekend in September 2016.

Davis has worked very hard to date in his career, coming through the Racing Academy Centre Of Excellence RACE at the Curragh, landing a job with O’Callaghan soon after.