Tag Archives: Robbie Downey

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”

Double Delight for Downey

Kilcock Jockey Robbie Downey rode a double for Thirsk trainer David Barron at Redcar Racecourse last Monday evening.

‘Venturous’ (9/1) struck late to win the Watch Racing TV In Stunning HD Handicap Stakes to complete the double while earlier in the day Downey stayed cool to win the Join Racing TV Now Handicap Stakes aboard Frosted Lass (9/2), outstaying favourite Tomahawk Ridge.

Downey spoke after completing his double about his hopes to raise his profile as a freelance jockey after coming over from Ireland; “I tested the water towards the end of last season for a few weeks, then rode in India during the winter. It’s going well but I’m just trying to pick up more rides.”

Photos from Redcar Racecourse twitter.

Downey Powers His Way Through At Fairyhouse

Captain Power (with Kilcock jockey Robbie Downey onboard) justified 9/4 favourtism to come through the eye of a needle and win the featured six furlong handicap at Fairyhouse yesterday.

Downey onboard Captain Power

A previous winner at the County Meath venue, Edward Lynam’s charge had seemingly nowhere to go as Palavicini Run challenged the pace-setting Geological a furlong out.

However, Downey managed to squeeze the five-year-old between that pair and he picked up nicely to score by three-quarters of a length from Palavicini Run.

It was Downey’s 4th winner onboard Captain Power as he pointed out on his Instagram feed last night; “4th win on this legend Captain Power”.

Trainer Lynam was in optimistic mood after the victory; “It’s good to get. Punters are sharper than me as I thought he was bad value at 5/2 favourite”

“He’s been a bit of a bookmakers friend the last few times. I suppose he’s a bookmakers friend today too as he (the Powers) owns him!

“Robbie gave him a very good ride. He’s not simple and we took the hood off today. He’s always been a highly strung individual and wore the hood for a reason.

“We took it off him because he was nearly doing the job too well. When you were pressing button A you were getting button B.

“He battled it out well today and seems to like going around a bend. He’s won twice here and twice at Leopardstown.

“It panned out well and we’ll try and find another handicap for him. He wins one or two a year. Last year he won two and they took one off me.

“We’ll try and win two again this year. People tell me he’ll get seven but I’m not so sure.”

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. 

Downey Makes Long Trip to Tipp Worthwhile

Downey and Knockmaole Boy after their recent success at Ballinrobe.

Kilcock jockey Robbie Downey partnered 5/2 Knockmaole Boy to victory at Tipperary racecourse tonight in the ‘Buy online at Tipperary Races.ie handicap over 1m, 1f.

The Johnny Culloty trained second favourite tracked the leaders halfway around before progressing turning into the straight and taking the lead entering the final furlong, going on to win by a length to 20/1 shot Belclare Boy, with favourite Windsor Beach a further 3/4 of a length back in 3rd.

The win is Knockmaole Boys’ 2nd in a row, with Downey onboard on both ocassions, the previous win coming at Ballinrobe on June 21st.

Downey’s career wins total now stands at an impressive 65.


Double Delight For Downey At Dundalk


Robbie Downey returns to the parade ring onboard Poitin after their latest victory.

With Aintree capturing the attentions of the horse racing world across the water, Kildare jockey Robbie Downey was busy enhancing his already growing reputation at home with a double at Dundalk Racecourse tonight, Friday 8th of April.

With no runner in the opening race, Downey entered the action in the second where he partnered the Edward Lynam trained ‘Mega Lady’ to victory in the Bet & Watch at titanbet.co.uk Handicap over the minimum 5 furlongs. The 7/2 shot beat the 6/4fav Go Kart into 2nd place by 1&3/4 lengths, with Strategic Force a further head back in 3rd. Coincidentally Downey had ridden Go Kart to victory in two of his six rides previously.

Downey doubled up for the night in the 8:30 onboard course specialist ‘Poitin’ at the very attractive odds of 8/1. The Keith Clarke trained 6-year-old beat Ancient Sands by 3 lengths into 2nd place, with Carried a further nose back in 3rd. It was Poitin’s 5th course win, tonight’s victory coming over 1m,4f. Once again there were jubilant scenes after the race from Poitin’s owners, the Phoenix Bloodstock Syndicate

Winning trainer Clarke said after the race; “I thought off 78 (rating) she might be caught out but she proved me wrong once again. She will probably venture into black-type company and see if she’s capable. She’s after winning five for me and is entitled to have a go but it will have to be on good ground. I’m still adamant that she will ho hurdling as she jumps well. I have to give a special mention to Kenny McCrossan who rides her at home and who was adamant that she was the best she has been all season”.

Poitin had been the gamble of the day, going from her 16/1 morning price into 7/1 before drifting slightly back out to 8s just before the off.

Clarke later added; “That was lovely. She improves every time we come back. In a better class of race they went a good gallop the whole way and she got a lovely run”.

  • Downey’s double would have landed you odds of 40/1.


Warrior Downey claims first win of 2014:

By Robert Cox

Young Kilcock jockey Robbie Downey picked up his first winner of 2104 on board Regal Warrior at Dundalk Racecourse last Friday night, 14thFebruary.

Having been drawn in the outside stall ten, Downey settled the JJ Lambe trained 20/1 shot in mid division early on in the 1m 4f handicap and though he looked to have been out-paced at the 3 furlong mark, he took the horse to the inside rail within the final furlong, picking off three or four contenders at will before he got up to cross the line a ½ length in front of the long time leader First Friday.

And though this was the Ballycaghan mans first winner since the turn of the year, it was his eleventh overall as he continues to make joint strides in the world of flat racing. All of Downey’s winners to date have come at the polytrack course at Dundalk but it is only a matter of time until the nineteen year old conquers another course if given the chance.

Downey, who works for county Meath trainer Edward Lynam, had one other ride last Friday in which he finished eight on the fancied Blue Bullet, trained by fellow Kilcock man Vincent Ward.