O'Brien Fined for 'Rock' Scratch from QE II

(From track report)
Aidan O'Brien was fined by stewards after the non-appearance of Rock of Gibraltar in the Queen Elizabeth II StakesSaturday. This is the statutory penalty in such circumstances – 1% of the total prize money fund.

Patrick Hibbert-Foy, the stipendiary steward at the meeting, explained why the panel imposed the £3,000 fine, which O'Brien accepted as being fair in the circumstances.

"We do not want to set a predecent whereby trainers can declare more than one horse and then say I might run one or I might run the other," he said.

"It is not fair on other trainers or on punters, who do not know which horse will be running. We had a lot of calls asking us which of the two was going to take part.

"And then it looks a bit odd if the ground was not suitable for Rock of Gibraltar to run on, but it was satisfactory for him to work on after racing, as he did. I know that there is obviously not so much
pressure when a horse is working, but people are entitled to wonder what is going on."

Luca Cumani, who did not run Gossamer because he felt the ground was not soft enough for her, was not fined because he had said all along that the filly would miss the race unless there was sufficient rain.

"He brought the filly to the course and she was identified; he had always said that if it did not rain she would not run and everyone knew the situation," said Hibbert-Foy.