Aidan O’Brien barred from Irish racecourses for two weeks over COVID-19 breach

Horse Racing Aidan O'Brien trainer
Aidan O’Brien: failed to enter the Curragh through health screening area. Photo: Qipco British Champions Series

By Jon Lees

Ireland: Aidan O’Brien will not be able to saddle his runners in person for 14 days after breaching Irish racing’s Covid-19 protocols.

Both O’Brien and his son Donnacha have been barred from attending any race meetings for two weeks by the Irish Horse Racing Board.

The two trainers were referred to the panel having failed to enter the Curragh through the health screening area on the day of the Irish 2,000 Guineas meeting. They were each also fined €2,500 (£2,781).

Under Covid-19 protocols brought in by Horse Racing Ireland to allow race meetings to go ahead behind closed doors, health screening is mandatory to all attendees who are required to head to to the health screen check-in area immediately on arrival.

A statement from the IHRB said: “At a referral hearing of Aidan O’Brien (Trainer) & Donnacha O’Brien (Trainer) following a referral from The Curragh on 12/06/20 both trainers were fined €2,500 & prohibited from attending a racecourse for 2 weeks for failing to enter The Curragh through the health screening area.”

Horse Racing Donnacha O'Brien jockey
Donnacha O’Brien: 21-year-old trainer barred for two weeks. Photo: Horse Racing Ireland

The penalty will be an inconvenience to the trainers but unlikely to disrupt their big race plans with Aidan O’Brien having not attended either Royal Ascot or the Investec Derby meeting and Donnacha having not been present at Chantilly when Fancy Blue delivered the 21-year-old his first Classic victory in the Prix de Diane.

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