Justice For Skelton As Protekorat Wins Appeal


Dan Skelton's Protektorat was subject to a demotion on New year's Day after winning the Listed Ballymore Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham but in a shock to the racing world the Stewards gave the race to Imperial Alcazar who crossed the line in second.

In one of the worst overturned results in racing history it was a moment to forget for the stewards at Cheltenham on the first day of the new decade as they made a baffling decision to deny Protektorat his first win over hurdles.

However, after a difficult week for the Skelton camp off the back of the decision today they were granted justice by winning the appeal that has seen the result of the race changed back to what it originally was.

The five year old had come very close in recent weeks to his first win but now officially has it in the record books and Fergal O'Brien's Imperial Alcazar is now back to second.

Protektorat has seen his silks change this season with well known racing owner John Hales now involved with the horse that sees a number of owners which include the infamous Sir Alex Ferguson.

it would have been a tragedy if the appeal would not have been overturned but now the racing world can move on from one of the worst Stewarding decisions of the decade.

The BHA tweeted: “Result of the first of today’s two Disciplinary Panel hearings:“D. Skelton’s Placings Appeal upheld, first past the post placings stand – PROTEKTORAT (FR) first, IMPERIAL ALCAZAR (IRE) second.

“Written reasons to follow in due course. Further result to follow.”

(Credit At The Races) Skelton said: “I don’t really want to say too much on the matter, but we are happy to have got the race back. I’m obviously happy for the owners, who always wanted to appeal the decision.

“We thought there was a strong chance of getting it back, hence why we made the appeal.”

O’Brien took the news well all considering, saying: “Like I said on the day, it’s a bit like penalties – you win some and you lose some.

“We had a very fair hearing – we both put across very strong cases, and I shouldn’t think it was an easy decision for the panel to make. But they’ve made their decision, and it’s one we’ll stick by.”