An appeal has been lodged by the connections of Dragon Symbol into the decision by stewards at Royal Ascot last week to demote him from first in the Commonwealth Cup (G1) for causing interference.
The finish to the Commonwealth Cup proved to be one of the most controversial of the week with Dragon Symbol prevailing by a head from Stonestreet Stables’ Campanelle , the former having drifted and taken the two horses from the stands’ side to the far side of the course in the process.
Following a lengthy stewards’ inquiry, it was deemed that without the interference Campanelle, trained by Wesley Ward and ridden by Frankie Dettori, would have been successful prompting the places to be reversed.
A disagreement also emerged in the aftermath of the decision with Oisin Murphy, who rode Dragon Symbol, indicating that Dettori had said the first past the post was the best horse in the race.
“I went into the stewards’ room knowing I was on the best horse, Frankie told me I was on the best horse, it just didn’t go my way,” the champion jockey said. Dettori refuted the claim.
Connections of Dragon Symbol had been magnanimous in defeat June 18, with trainer Archie Watson striding across the paddock to congratulate Ward, but had also intimated an appeal would follow given the magnitude of the race and Dragon Symbol being a colt.
That intention was confirmed by Murphy, a friend of the owner Yoshiro Kubota, who said via text: “Mr. Kubota is keen to appeal but I’ve not discussed it with Archie yet.”
The appeal, for which connections of Dragon Symbol must lodge a £500 deposit, was later confirmed by the BHA with a disciplinary panel hearing into the incident taking place on July 1.
Watson said later: “I can confirm that an appeal has been lodged on behalf of Dragon Symbol’s connections.”
The four-day careless riding ban handed to Murphy as part of the same inquiry last week has not been appealed.
🗣️ “I knew we got nailed on the line, but it warrants a disqualification”
— World Horse Racing (@WHR) June 18, 2021
An appeal notice published by the BHA said: “The independent disciplinary panel will convene on July 1 to hear an appeal brought by Archie Watson against the decision of the stewards at Royal Ascot to reverse the placings following interference in the Commonwealth Cup. It is noted that the four days for careless riding received by Oisin Murphy is not being appealed.
“An inquiry was held to consider the placings in this race following interference over the final furlong and a half. The stewards considered that the interference had improved Dragon Symbol’s placing as at the time of interference, both horses were traveling equally as well, and they believed that the distance lost by Campanelle, who was taken notably off her intended line and bumped on a minimum of two occasions, equated to more than the head by which she was beaten.”