Appeal To Decide Uthor Bale’s Auckland Cup Fate

AN appeal hearing later today with the JCA will decide if Uthor Bale takes his place in Sunday’s Group 1 Auckland Cup Final at Manukau Stadium (527m).

Adam Dobbin

27 February 2020

AN appeal hearing later today with the NZ Judicial Control Authority will decide if Uthor Bale takes his place in Sunday’s Group 1 Auckland Cup Final at Manukau Stadium (527m).

On Sunday, the Craig Roberts-trained Uthor Bale roared into this weekend’s group 1 finale with a 5 ¼ length 30.45 heat success, the son of Dyna Double One’s seventh win from 18 career starts.

But following the emphatic victory the Wheeler-owned chaser caught the attention of stewards, handed a 28-day stand down period for failing to pursue, rubbing him out of Sunday’s group 1 blockbuster.

Stewards asserted that the greyhound turned his head outwards leaving the boxes free of interference, before being contacted on several occasions and forced inwards.

Not surprisingly, connections moved to quickly launch an appeal on the decision, with the Judicial Control Authority convening at 2.30pm today NZ time to decide whether Uthor Bale lines up from box four in Sunday’s $50,000 to-the-winner final.

WATCH THE VISION HERE

If the court of public opinion has any bearing on this afternoon’s appeal decision, it’s suffice to say Uthor Bale will line-up on Sunday afternoon as one of three finalists for trainer Craig Roberts.

Today’s appeal has been lodged on the premise that the greyhound made an awkward start, a position that the head on vision supports.

Evidence will also be tabled demonstrating that the outward early motion is a common trait of the greyhound and that similar starts previously have gone through without issue from stewards.

On Sunday stewards declared the following in their report.

UTHOR BALE (1) – turned head outwards free of interference on leaving the boxes before being contacted on several occasions and forced inwards. Veterinary examination revealed no abnormality. Subsequently stood down 28 days for failing to pursue.

For a greyhound to be rubbed out of any race, let alone a group 1 final, following a commanding 5 ¼ length victory in fast time would be unprecedented.

Today’s appeal outcome will prove most interesting indeed.