Cheltenham-winning horse at centre of crime assets seizure ’not in same condition’, court hears

A Cheltenham-winning horse at the centre of a proceeds of crime assets seizure is no longer in the same condition as it had been due to the "vagaries of of the sport", the High Court has heard, writes Ann O’Loughlin.

"Labaik" won this year’s Supreme Novices Hurdle at odds of 25/1 causing a shock in betting circles because of the horse’s previous form.

Subsequently, it became among a number of assets targeted by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) which the bureau believes are owned or part owned by convicted drug dealer John Boylan (30).

Jack Kennedy celebrates winning the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on Labaik. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

CAB has brought applications before the court seeking to seize those assets which include Labaik of which Boylan is part owner in a syndicate. The other members of the syndicate have no involvement in criminality.

In court today, Ben Ó’Floinn BL, for CAB, said there had been in default by the Boylan side in relation to a previous direction of the court to put in a replying affidavit to the bureau’s application. Following discussions with lawyers for Mr Boylan, it had been agreed he could have a further two weeks to do so, he said.

Mr Ó’Floinn said another person has claimed a ten per cent interest in a bank account which CAB is also targeting and the bureau is no longer maintaining its application in relation to that ten per cent interest.

Counsel also said there had been "a development" in relation to the horse which CAB was seeking. "It is not in the same condition as a result of the vagaries of sport", he said.

Counsel for Mr Boylan said the reason the replying affidavit had not been filed was some clarification had to be sought in relation to matters. A "large volume of material" had arrived from solicitors and that included material in relation to a "large amount of gambling income", he said.

Ms Justice Carmel Stewart extended time for providing the affidavit for two weeks and adjourned the case for mention to the end of next month. She noted what had been said in relation to the person claiming a ten per cent interest in the bank account

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