Charles Byrnes must wait on verdict in appeal against six-month ban

Video conference hears almost two hours of evidence in Viking Hoard case

No verdict emerged on Tuesday night from Charles Byrnes’s appeal against a six-month suspension of his licence in relation to the Viking Hoard case.

The Co Limerick trainer had his appeal against the ban – imposed last month after being found to be “seriously negligent” when his runner, Viking Hoard, was ‘nobbled’ with a sedative at Tramore in 2018 – heard in a video conference due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Evidence was heard for almost two hours by an appeals panel chaired by Justice Nial Fennelly and which also included Justice Leonie Reynolds and John Powell.

“The panel will consider their decision and inform the parties involved in due course,” said an Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board spokesman afterwards.


When that verdict will be delivered is unclear although it could take a number of days.

Byrnes broke his silence on the case on Sunday after his horse, the JP McManus-owned Off You Go, won at the Dublin Racing Festival.

He said the matter had been very upsetting for him, his family and racing in general but was adamant he had been in no way negligent in leaving Viking Hoard unattended for a period of time in the stableyard at Tramore racecourse.

Viking Hoard was pulled up in a handicap hurdle and was found to have 100 times the safe limit for the sedative ACP in his system after being doped by an unidentified third party.

It was also found in the original hearing that delivered the penalties on Byrnes last month that Viking Hoard had been laid to lose on Betfair in that Tramore race and other races before.