Paddy Power Defends Handling of Non-Runner Situation, Denies Bookie Manipulation

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Irish bookmaker Paddy Power’s defended its handling of a controversial non-runner case at Dundalk on Friday, which led to denials by the firm that it had engaged in market manipulation.

From the Racing Post:

US Navy Seal was declared a non-runner before 5pm on Thursday, but SIS Ireland, the agent responsible for formally delivering all non-runners to bookmakers, passed on the withdrawal only the following morning.

In the intervening hours US Navy Seal dramatically shortened in the market, into 5-2 (from 10), triggering a much bigger rule 4 for those betting on the race before the horse's withdrawal from the market. In the case of a 5-2 chance becoming a non-runner, 25c in the euro is deducted from winning bets; with a 10-1 shot it is just 5c.

Turf Club chief executive Denis Egan insisted to the Racing Post over the weekend that the blame for the delay in notice lies with lies with SIS Ireland.

Paddy Orr, on-course manager for SIS Ireland, defended the delay as part of the firm's “protocol".

He said: "The overnight declarations go out at 2.30pm every day to bookmakers, but obviously Friday is different because it also carries weekend racing.

"In this instance, [the horse] would have had to have been declared a non-runner before 2.30pm on Thursday before our overnight declarations went out.

"The non-runner could not be taken out until the following morning, which we did at 7am on Friday morning. This is SIS protocol, but perhaps we may review this going forward."
Paddy Power issued a statement to the Racing Post on Sunday: "We have to go off the SIS feed, as a far worse situation for us would be a case where we take something out of a market and the horse ends up running. There’s no question that we have to go with the SIS feed.

"Obviously it's a mess as far as SIS are concerned, but sometimes these things happen."

Perhaps no one was more perplexed by the shortening of US Navy Seal’s odds shortening than his trainer, Jimmy Finn.

He said on Sunday: "It certainly wasn't our money as we knew he wasn't running and we had withdrawn the horse.

"Having said that, lots of people thought he had run an eyecatching race last time, so I could see why people would have been backing him if they thought he was a definite runner."

- Alistair Prescott,  

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