Leopardstown: Betting patterns investigated after Melon and Yorkhill runs

Yorkhill has won twice at the Cheltenham Festival
Yorkhill has won twice at the Cheltenham Festival

Betting patterns for two big races at the Dublin Racing Festival on Saturday are being investigated by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB).

The odds for Melon, trained by Willie Mullins, rose just before the Irish Champion Hurdle in which he came fifth.

Stablemate Yorkhill also drifted in the betting before finishing sixth in the Dublin Chase at Leopardstown.

IHRB chief executive Denis Egan believes both races merit further examination.

"It's just suspicious betting patterns we are looking at, it may be nothing but we are investigating," he said.

Egan said some lay bets - where a horse is backed to lose - would be scrutinised.

"We are awaiting the relevant information and we hope to have that in the next couple of days, then we can decide whether to investigate further," he said.

Melon's odds rose from 3.6 to 6.2 on the Betfair betting exchange in just 90 seconds shortly before his race, then shortened slightly to 5.9.

Supasundae, trained by Jessica Harrington, won the race at a starting price of 8-1, beating the Mullins-trained Faugheen (9-10 favourite) into second with Melon (7-2) 12 lengths behind the winner.

Mullins won the Dublin Chase with 11-8 favourite Min. Stablemate Yorkhill had started the day odds-on but was sent off a 7-4 chance and trailed in 80 lengths behind.

Yorkhill's price on Betfair went from 2.4 to 3.5 in the five minutes before the race, before settling back at 2.92.

Champion Irish trainer Mullins said afterwards he was disappointed with Yorkhill's run.

"It's completely back to the drawing board with him," he said.

"We'll see if anything shows up, but possibly the fast pace over jumps caused him to lose his jumping method down the back. He wasn't happy going at pace over fences."

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