Those involved in horseracing must have thought that after the Cheltenham Festival and the running of the Grand National they could have a rest until the commencement of the Flat season and the Classics that come with it. How wrong they were.
Last week, we saw allegations flying around racecourses as to the identities of five jockeys suspected of fixing Flat races in an investigation that is expected to drag on for the next few weeks. Today’s news concerns more people that the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has seen fit to question over the allegations.
The BHA called in two businessmen to answer questions related to allegedly co-ordinating the manipulation of races by compliant jockeys.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the two men have both been registered owners and they can be “warned off” for indefinite periods if found guilty of involvement in the widespread fixing.
The same paper also reports that the two businessman involved are long-term associates based in the southeast of England. It’s also believed that they’re directors of numerous companies in the general area but it’s unclear at the moment if any of their own horses are involved.
The BHA’s case has been built up over a number of years and if charges have to be brought against any of those involved, law enforcement agencies and the Gambling Commission are unlikely to become involved. This links back to the case involving jockey Kieron Fallon in 2007 when the jockey’s trial collapsed due to evidence from the prosecution’s key witness.
All in all, it shows that the sport is again being dragged through the mud and all as they attempt to drum up support for the newly established Champions Series.