07/01/2008 12:00AM

Appeal filed over placings in Irish Derby


Fallout from Sunday’s roughly run Irish Derby continued on Tuesday when the connections of Curtain Call filed an appeal with the Irish Turf Club over the ruling that placed Alessandro Volta fourth, ahead of Curtain Call, after he impeded both Curtain Call and Tartan Bearer.

Trainer Luca Cumani and owners Patrick Cooper and partners claimed that in veering left across the track, Alessandro Volta forced Curtain Call to be snatched up as he was making a bid for the lead. Alessandro Volta continued to veer badly left, carrying Tartan Bearer very wide. The stewards ultimately disqualified Alessandro Volta and placed him fourth, behind Tartan Bearer but ahead of Curtain Call.

Those incidents inside the eighth pole weren’t the only controversies produced in the Irish Derby. Earlier in the race, the Coolmore rabbit Hindu Kush, while still full of run, had graciously moved off the rail at the five-furlong pole, allowing his Aidan O’Brien-trained stablemate Alessandro Volta a clear run at the lead. Speculation in British papers has followed that if the horse behind him had not been carrying the colors of one of Coolmore’s consortium of owners, Hindu Kush’s rider, David McCabe, would not have been so generous. McCabe had been accused of the same questionable tactics in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot when he allowed the O’Brien-trained Honoured Guest to move off the rail to allow the eventual winner, the O’Brien-trained Haradasun, to move through.

Horses in Ireland and Britain never run as coupled entries, even when, as in the cases of both the Irish Derby and the Queen Anne Stakes, they run under common ownership, although rules exist in both countries to penalize team tactics. In America and other countries with parimutuel coupling systems, it is likely that Frozen Fire would have been disqualified from his Irish Derby victory along with the offending Alessandro Volta because of their common ownership. On Tuesday, however, both the Irish Turf Club and the British Horseracing Authority stated that they would not be reviewing their rules concerning team tactics.