Three-year bans for Behan and Tyrrell

Three-year bans for Behan and Tyrrell

Jockey Jason Behan and trainer Eamon Tyrrell have been disqualified for three years for not running Casela Park on his merits at Newcastle.

The British Horseracing Authority disciplinary panel found the pair guilty of the offence after they concluded that Behan's ride amounted to "deliberately preventing a horse from winning" the Handicap on August 4.

The five-year-old, sent off at odds of 17-2, finished sixth off top weight of 9st 13lb, beaten two lengths.

He went on to run again two days later at Musselburgh, finishing fourth on that occasion.

He has not raced since, and has been suspended from running for 42 days from Wednesday.

Behan and Tyrrell's disqualification period commences from the same day.

The BHA panel's summary of the case, published on September 27, had stated that: "The gelding was subjected to strong and persistent episodes of restraint in the last two and a half furlongs, and was manoeuvred several times away from gaps and back behind other runners.

"It was running on well in the last 50 yards (despite an absence of any driving or encouragement) and lost by just two lengths. But for its treatment by Behan, it would have won.

"That may seem a strong conclusion about a race in which it finished sixth, but the more the panel viewed the recordings, the more it felt driven to this view."

The disciplinary panel came to their verdict after a hearing on September 22, at which neither Behan nor County Kildare-based Tyrrell were legally represented, and have since been considering the penalty for the offence, which has an entry point of 18 months.

The panel formed the view that the entry point for a "fundamental breach of the rules" is pitched too low - a fact which has been exacerbated by the "untrue accounts" given by the jockey and the trainer.

Three-year disqualifications, added the panel, were also necessary to "warn others of the consequences of similar riding, which strikes at the very nature of racing".

The BHA submitted that there were three aggravating features of this case: the nature of the ride itself; what they describe as "the dishonesty of the ride"; and the untruthful accounts given by Tyrrell and Behan to both to the Newcastle stewards and the BHA panel.

The disciplinary panel saw no reason to treat the jockey more leniently than the trainer as "there was no hint that he was lent on to do what he did".

The panel also added that "the gelding ought not to have been allowed to run at Musselburgh after the determination by the Newcastle stewards that this was a deliberate failure to run it on its merits".

Chaired by Timothy Charlton QC, the panel also recommended that the BHA may wish to consider giving stewards the power to suspend a horse with immediate effect when they determine that a deliberate breach has occurred.

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