TRAINER Denis Hogan has been banned for three months and fined €5,000 following a positive test for a prohibited substance by one of his winners. He has lodged an appeal.

Based in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary, Hogan has had four winners disqualified in the past five years due to failed post-race drug tests. Although the trainer was found to have taken all reasonable steps to prevent the previous rule breaches, in this latest case the Referrals Committee did hold Hogan responsible and his record was taken into account when deciding to issue the suspension.

His ban had been due to start on August 1st but that is unlikely following his lodgement of an appeal.

A spokesperson for the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board said: "This is Mr Hogan's fourth breach of rules relating to prohibited substances and the decision of the Referrals Committee reflects that. As the chairman of the Committee noted, the IHRB takes findings of prohibited substances very seriously."

Hogan has been training since 2009 and has established a reputation for winning races with modestly-bred and inexpensive horses.

He is best known for his exploits with two Godolphin cast-offs, Make A Challenge and Sceptical. Make A Challenge was acquired for £6,500 and won 10 races including five listed contests. Sceptical cost just £2,800 and won three times in 2020 before being sent off 2/1 favourite for the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

With Frankie Dettori on board, Sceptical finished a close third at Ascot and the partnership went on to finish second to Oxted in the July Cup before suffering a fatal leg injury the following month.

Over jumps Hogan's best horses to date have been Moyhenna and Youcantcallherthat. Hogan rode both mares to win two graded races each in 2018-'19. He retired from race-riding last November.

Separately, two horses trained by Hogan are the subject of a long-running investigation by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board. In March 2020 Hogan saddled Tony The Gent and Yuften to finish first and second in a Dundalk claiming race. Yuften had been forecast to start favourite but drifted in the betting and was reportedly lame afterwards.


The Referrals Committee, Mr. Peter M. Allen (Chair), Mr. Anthony Byrne and Mr. Laurence McFerran convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Monday, June 19th, 2023 to consider whether or not Denis Hogan (Trainer) was in breach of any rules of racing as a result of a report received from LGC Laboratories, Newmarket, England.

The report received on 11th November 2022 confirmed that the urine sample taken from Ballyadam Destiny (GB) following his win in the WB Gavin and Co. Handicap Hurdle on 29th October 2022, was confirmed by LGC Laboratories to contain Triamcinolone Acetonide (TCA) and Dexamethasone. Under Rule 20 (v) and Regulation R14 of the Rules of Racing and Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Rules TCA and Dexamethasone are prohibited substances on a raceday.

The option of ‘B’ Sample analysis was declined by Mr. Hogan, and he accepted the result of the ‘A’ Sample.

Evidence was heard from Mr. Hogan and Dr. Lynn Hillyer, Head of Anti-Doping and Chief Veterinary Officer.

In her evidence, Dr Hillyer outlined the details of the IHRB investigation. She explained that both TCA and Dexamethasone are corticosteroid anti-inflammatory medications commonly used in equine practice. She stated that there is no published Detection Time for TCA but there is a minimum Stand Down time of 14 days which must be given after an intra-articular administration of the drug under Rule 87(vii)(c).

Dr Hillyer stated that during the course of the investigation, Mr. Hogan’s Veterinary Medicines Register was inspected which confirmed that Ballyadam Destiny had received veterinary treatment on the 27th September 2022 which included intramuscular administration of Triam Lichtenstein and Dexafort, with a withdrawal time of 40 days for Triam Lichtenstein being advised by Mr. Hogan’s veterinary surgeon, Donncha Houlihan. The IHRB was satisfied that that this treatment had resulted in the adverse analytical findings.

The IHRB asserted that the withdrawal advice given by the veterinary surgeon who had diagnosed and treated the horse had been ignored, as the horse had been run 31 days after the administration. On that basis, the IHRB stated that Mr. Hogan had not taken all reasonable steps to prevent the adverse analytical finding.

In his evidence, Mr. Hogan accepted the analytical findings and stated that he had mistaken the withdrawal times advised when entering Ballyadam Destiny for his run in Galway due to an administration error for which he accepted full responsibility. Mr. Hogan further stated that he has since employed additional staff in his yard to avoid such an error reoccurring in the future and had put new measures in place to ensure such an issue would not reoccur.

Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee found Mr. Hogan in breach of Rule 96(a), ordered that the stake be forfeited and the result amended accordingly. The Chairman of the Referrals Committee, Mr. Allen, read out the following decision on behalf of the committee:

“Mr. Hogan has met this case very fairly and has accepted the findings of the IHRB’s inspection. The duty does lie with the Trainer to ensure that all procedures are carried out in accordance with the Rules and Regulations. We do appreciate that the veterinary surgeon did advise forty days withdrawal and indeed on hindsight that may not have been enough time, but that is not relevant to the findings today as the horse was run within that forty-day period. On that basis, it is our finding that the horse should be disqualified from its position in the race and any prizemoney should be refunded.

“In relation to other penalties, Mr. Hogan’s record has been outlined to us and he has explained the facts surrounding some of those findings; however, the finding of prohibited substances in horses is something which the IHRB takes very, very seriously and indeed the members of the public themselves do. On that basis it is our view that Mr. Hogan’s licence should be withdrawn for a period of three months, that the suspension should commence from the 1st of August next and that Mr. Hogan should be fined a sum of €5,000.”

W.B. Gavin & Co. Handicap Hurdle – Amended result

1st Moving Water

2nd Coventry

3rd Merlin Giant (FR)

4th Espanito Bello (FR)

5th Mercury Lane

6th Bold Getaway