Category: Horse Racing

Horse Racing News And Betting Tips

Dec 20

Jim Best decides not to appeal verdict of BHA disciplinary committee

• Lewes-based trainer will not challenge six-month ban
• Harry Stewart-Moore: ‘Best is innocent of the charges against him’

The long-running saga of the British Horseracing Authority’s case against Jim Best appears to be at an end, following the Lewes trainer’s decision not to appeal against the verdict of a disciplinary panel delivered last week. Best loses his licence to train and will not be able to reapply for six months, that being the penalty handed to him after the panel decided he probably had told a jockey to stop two horses.

However, a statement from his solicitor, Harry Stewart-Moore, insisted this was anything but an admission of guilt and threw the spotlight back on the BHA, deriding its disciplinary process. Declining to appeal was, the lawyer said, a practical decision, borne of the recognition a six-month suspension should not mean the end of Best’s business, in sharp contrast to the outright ban of four years which was the original penalty after a hearing in February. That had to be quashed because of significant failings in the BHA’s process, resulting in a rehearing last month.

Related: Thistlecrack and Cue Card to go head-to-head in Kempton’s King George

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Dec 19

BHA bans Paul Gilligan for six months over Uttoxeter ‘flapping’ horse

• Unusual markings on 14-1 winner led to Irish trainer’s disqualification
• Gilligan case has echoes of that brought by BHA against trainer Jim Best

The Irish trainer Paul Gilligan has been disqualified from racing for six months for running a horse at Uttoxeter that had previously competed in an unlicensed “flapping” meeting in Ireland. The ban came after the rehearing of a disciplinary case that was initially heard by a panel that included the lawyer Matthew Lohn.

The penalty handed down on Monday is identical to that issued by the earlier hearing in March, which inquired into the running of a horse called Dubawi Phantom at Uttoxeter in June 2014. Dubawi Phantom was backed at long odds and ran out a cosy half-length winner of the race at 14-1.

Related: Jim Best case fallout may result in BHA reopening seven cases

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Dec 14

Panel tells BHA it needed clear rules to ban trainer Jim Best for longer

• Disciplinary body hamstrung by lack of guidelines
• Conditional jockey told to stop two horses in races

The independent disciplinary panel which decided that the trainer Jim Best had ordered Paul John, a conditional jockey, to stop two horses in races last December published the reasons for its imposition of a six-month suspension on the trainer on Wednesday , and suggested as it did so that if the British Horseracing Authority wished to see a sterner penalty for such a serious offence, it should amend its sentencing guidelines to reflect that.

However, its reasons did little to dispel widespread surprise that an offence which, in the panel’s own words, involved “dishonest practices” that “strike at the heart of racing’s integrity” had resulted in what appeared to many in the sport to be an extremely lenient penalty.

Related: Trainer Jim Best found guilty of ordering jockey to stop two horses

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Dec 12

Jim Best case ends amid bitterness and many questions pointing at BHA

• Trainer’s six-month suspension a rebuff to British Horseracing Authority
• Ten-month case has been costly – and not just in financial terms

After 10 angry months of finger-pointing and procedural irregularities, it is hard to know what a satisfying conclusion to the Jim Best case might have looked like, but the one reached on Monday is not it. There is no closure here, no revelation that all is known at last. Instead, there is bitterness on all sides.

Best has been found in breach of the rules, having always maintained his innocence. But his punishment will be nothing like as severe as the four-year ban set after the first hearing as part of a decision that was struck down in May. The revised six-month suspension is a rebuff to the British Horseracing Authority, which suggested a ban of up to six years here.

Related: Jim Best found guilty by BHA of telling jockey to stop two horses

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Dec 12

Jim Best found guilty by BHA of telling jockey to stop two horses

• Trainer to lose licence for six months after ‘non-triers’ case
• BHA panel said of race videos: ‘These were both stopping rides’

Jim Best is once more facing a period out of racing after a disciplinary panel ruled the Lewes trainer had told a jockey to stop two horses last December, a finding that was first made against him in February and then quashed in May. However, Best still appears likely to have a future in the sport because the penalty meted out to him was dramatically shorter than at the original hearing, amounting to a six-month suspension rather than a four-year ban.

Related: Jim Best case ends amid bitterness and many questions pointing at BHA

Related: Panel insists Jim Best verdict must be revealed at BHA offices on Monday

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Dec 08

Graham Gibbons takes time out after Kempton urine-sample swap accusation

• All-weather championship leader had one ride at Wednesday fixture
• Stewards held inquiry following a report from the clerk of the scales

Graham Gibbons, the leading jockey on the all-weather circuit this winter, has agreed to stand himself down “with immediate, indefinite effect” pending an inquiry into an incident at Kempton Park on Wednesday evening when he is alleged to have swapped a urine sample with one provided by a fellow jockey, Callum Shepherd.

Gibbons, who has a record of offences and suspensions related to alcohol, and Shepherd, an apprentice rider, were among at least 10 jockeys randomly selected to provide a sample by a British Horseracing Authority drug-testing team.

Related: Graham Gibbons is back on Hoof It and in search of Group One redemption

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Dec 06

Panel insists Jim Best verdict must be revealed at BHA offices on Monday

• No precedent for calling back parties so long after hearing to be told verdict
• Clashes with 32Red media event to promote King George VI Chase

The verdict in the Jim Best rehearing is to be announced on Monday afternoon, more than a fortnight after closing arguments were presented by barristers for both sides. In a surprising development, the outcome is to be revealed at the offices of the British Horseracing Authority in the presence of all those involved and representatives of the media, rather than being posted online in the usual manner.

Related: Hennessy announces end for sponsorship of famous Newbury race

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Dec 03

Martin Harley lawyer hits back after BHA bungle Chelmsford allegation

• British Horseracing Authority apologises and admits mistakes were made
• Rory Mac Neice: ‘Another example of BHA setting very low bar and missing it’

The integrity wing of racing’s ruling body has come in for further criticism over its handling of a “running and riding” prosecution that has been abandoned just days after it began. The jockey Martin Harley was charged on Tuesday with making insufficient effort in a race – at Chelmsford a fortnight ago – but was immediately able to prove that he gave a complete explanation for his ride to the raceday stewards, which explanation was not shared with the British Horseracing Authority’s head office.

The BHA acknowledged that Harley had no case to answer, the rider having said on the day that his mount, Rebel Lightning, had taken “a wrong step” coming out of a bend and needed time to recover before being asked for a further effort. Stinging criticism for the regulator came from Harley’s solicitor, Rory Mac Neice, who said: “This is another example of the BHA setting themselves a very low bar and missing it.”

Related: ‘Done deal’ claim over Paul John raised at Jim Best rehearing

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Dec 19

50 of our favourite sport photos from 2014 – in pictures

Our picture editors have received more than one million sport photographs in the past 12 months, covering everything from Winter Olympics and cliff diving to the World Cup and mud-runs. After much deliberation, they’ve put together a collection of thei…

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Jul 29

Sport: 24 hours in pictures

29 July 2009: Our pick of the best sports images from around the world in the last 24 hours Continue reading…

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