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Asian Conf 10: French Protests May Follow UK

Monday, 29th January 2007

France-Galop director-general Louis Romanet told the Asian Racing Conference "France could fall into line with Britain & Ireland over interference rules," reported racingpost.co.uk. Romanet cited the 2006 "treatment of Ad Valorem in the UK Gr1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot as an example of the differences in rules, saying he was mystified the colt had not been disqualified, as he would have been in France"; but he acknowledged the remaining issue was: "How do you explain to punters that one country does things one way & another a different way?" Romanet announced he would "return home with a mission to persuade his stewards they should reverse their policy, which loads the balance in favour of victims when there is doubt in interference inquiries". At present France, Italy & Germany "take one line, while most other major racing nations, including Britain & Ireland, go down the opposite route of favouring a past-the-post result when doubt about cause & effect emerges". Romanet exp[lained that, having given the matter thought last year, he had been "persuaded by debate at an international stewards' conference (the first of its kind & staged alongside the Asian Racing Conference) & following further discussion in open forum at the main conference". Romanet (who was accompanied by France-Galop senior steward Henri Poulet at the conference) said: "We have been going too far in our interpretation & I will tell the stewards my personal opinion is that we must change our disqualification policy as soon as possible. I may not be popular & we will probably have to find a way of compensating owners, but it will be much more sensible for punters."

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