Cheltenham Festival News

Scott left deflated after Dashel Drasher demotion in Stayers’

Thu 16 Mar 2023

Jeremy Scott felt the decision of the Cheltenham stewards to demote Dashel Drasher to third from second in the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle had “pricked his bubble a bit”.

Sent off at 40-1, only the French challenger Henri Le Farceur went off a bigger price but Dashel Drasher massively outran market expectations and looked to have everything beaten when jumping the last flight in front.

He drifted slightly to his left on jumping it, and also caused marginal interference after the hurdle to Gordon Elliott’s Teahupoo, the 9-4 favourite.

Only a nose separated them at the line, with Sire Du Berlais a three-quarters of a length winner, but the stewards felt there was enough interference to reverse the order of the second and third.

“To me it’s very harsh. I’ve just spoken to the stewards and I’ve watched it through,” said Scott.

“The trouble is they set the precedent in the four-year-old hurdle at Aintree last year when (Knight Salute and Pied Piper dead-heated but Pied Piper was demoted). To me I felt if it had happened at any meeting midweek it wouldn’t have been picked up on.

“We drifted left going into the hurdle and that is what they are concerned about and they felt the momentum he lost made the difference between the nose he missed out on second.

“For me the eventual second wasn’t quick enough to go for the gap he wanted, then he was pulled out to go around and have another go. I think we’ve been harshly done to, but rules are rules.

“I’ll speak to the owners about an appeal, but it’s a long process and I don’t think we’ll derive any pleasure about doing it – it did prick our bubble a bit and the £30,000 would have been nice.”

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