Trainer Philip Fenton will have to wait at least another several weeks to defend himself against charges of possessing steroids.
The 49-year-old sat by himself at the back of Carrick-on-Suir district court in Co Tipperary today as lawyers pleaded for more time to deal with submissions in the case. Judge Terence Finn put the hearing back for mention at the same courthouse on 15 May.
Fenton, of Garryduff, South Lodge, Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, is facing eight charges over treatments and medicines found by state inspectors at his yard. At a hearing last month, his legal team were given four weeks to file submissions on issues they claim to have found on summonses detailing the prosecution. Those files were sent to the chief state solicitor’s office on 10 March and prosecutors have asked for more time to consider them. There was no objection from the defence team.
The case against Fenton was brought by the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine following an inspection of his yard on 18 January, 2012. The eight charges include alleged possession of Nitrotain and Ilium Stanabolic and prescription medicines including Engemycin 10%, Neomycin Penicillin and Marbocyl 10%. If a trial goes ahead on the charges, between 12 and 15 witnesses are expected to be called, including one from France. No plea has been entered.
Fenton’s runners at Cheltenham last week, Last Instalment, Dunguib and Value At Risk, were tested by the British Horseracing Authority before being cleared to run at the showpiece meeting, with all three producing negative tests for any banned substances.
Meanwhile, jockey Martin Harley faces about two months on the sidelines after a horror fall at Lingfield on Wednesday.
The Irishman fractured a bone in his neck as well as damaging several ribs when he was thrown to the ground when the ill-fated Red Art clipped the heels of horses in front of him in the Ladbrokes Mobile Handicap.
Harley was taken to East Surrey Hospital in nearby Redhill before being transferred to St George’s Hospital in Tooting for further treatment. He is expected to remain there for a few more days. He is stable jockey to Newmarket trainer Marco Botti, who said: “Obviously he’s going to be out for a couple of months. I think he has a fracture of one of the bones in his neck. It’s not bad and it doesn’t need surgery, but he will be out for six weeks and then he will have another scan. He’s fractured a few ribs as well. All in all, in a way, he was lucky because it was a horrible fall. It could have been much worse.”
• Grandeur will have to overcome the widest draw of all if he is to justify his short price in the coral.co.uk Winter Derby at Lingfield tomorrow. The Jeremy Noseda-trained ante-post favourite has been handed stall 14 in the 14-runner field for the mile and a quarter feature. His main market rival, Roger Varian’s Farraaj, will be in stall nine as he bids to take the honours for the second successive year.