Jockey Barry Geraghty has won his appeal against a 30-day ban that had threatened to rule him out of next week’s Punchestown Festival.
The punishment was handed out after stewards at Limerick felt Geraghty, 36, did not allow a horse to run on his merits in a handicap hurdle on 3 April.
Geraghty’s ride, the JP McManus-owned 7-4 favourite Noble Emperor, came a distant second to Velocity Boy.
But a three-hour Irish Turf Club hearing cleared Geraghty of any blame.
He told the appeal board that had he tried to keep up with the winner, he was more likely to have finished fifth.
Evidence was also heard from the horse’s trainer Tony Martin, Patrick Kennedy – on behalf of McManus – journalist Donn McClean and fellow jockey Brian O’Connell.
The Limerick stewards, acting under Rule 212, had also banned Noble Emperor for 60 days and fined Martin 3,000 euros (£2,400). Those sanctions were also overturned at the hearing.
The Punchestown festival begins on 26 April.