Five jockeys amongst 13 charged with rules breach

BRITISH racing is braced for another inquiry into corruption after 13 people were charged with serious breaches of the rules of racing.

The accused include four jockeys still holding a license – Paul Doe, Greg Fairley, Kirsty Milczarek and Jimmy Quinn – along with former rider Paul Fitzsimons, now a trainer.

It is alleged they conspired to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice following a British Horseracing Authority investigation into suspicious betting activity on a number of races.

Registered owners Maurice Sines and James Crickmore have also been charged with the same breach of the rules, along with six others – Peter Gold, Nick Gold, Shaun Harris, David Kendrick, Darren May and Liam Vasey.

All of the individuals except the jockeys are alternatively/additionally charged with another breach in that it is alleged ’they caused the jockey in the race to act by communicating to him directly or indirectly, at his request and for material reward, gift, favour or benefit in kind, inside information in relation to the named horse’.

Each of the jockeys is additionally charged with allegedly having ’communicated directly or indirectly to one or more betting exchange account holders, for material reward, gift, favour or benefit in kind, information relating to the prospects of the named horse’.

The allegations focus on horses being laid to lose on betting exchanges in 10 races that took place between January 17, 2009 and August 15, 2009.

As well as being charged for allegedly passing on information for reward, each of the jockeys has also been charged with ’intentionally failing to ensure that their horse was run on its merits’.

Doe has been charged in relation to a total of five races combining both charges. The races took place at Lingfield, Wolverhampton, Kempton and Bath.

Fairley has been charged in relation to four races, Quinn with two, and Milczarek and Fitzsimons to one race each.

Fitzsimons was “shocked” at the charges, relating to his ride on It’s A Mans World at Lingfield in February 2009.

“I’m happy to help with the investigations for as long as it takes,” said the Hungerford-based trainer.

“I’m shocked and dismayed but I’ve got 100% backing from my owners, and will be represented by solicitor Andrew Chalk.

“I’m pretty confident my name will be cleared.”

Chalk, of Withy King solicitors, will also be acting for Quinn.

He said: “Jimmy is sending in the paperwork as the charges have only just arrived, so we will look closer at the situation at the beginning of next week.

“Jimmy is pulling his hair out and is particularly frustrated.

“He feels he has co-operated fully with the investigation, having answered all of the appropriate questions with honesty.

“He is dismayed at the charges, and is adamant he has done nothing wrong.”

Milczarek’s charges relate to her ride aboard Obe Gold at Lingfield on August 15, 2009.

Trained at the time by Debbie Mountain, Milczarek finished fifth on the even-money favourite in a six-furlong seller.

One of the races over which Fairley has been charged relates to Obe Gold’s performance when he finished third in a claimer at Catterick 24 hours earlier.

Milczarek’s representative, Christopher Stewart-Moore, said Milczarek was “stunned”, and claimed the rider suffered injuries when Obe Gold left the starting stalls at Lingfield.

Stewart-Moore said in a statement issued to Press Association Sport: “She is stunned by this development.

“She has been fully co-operative with the BHA investigations.

“Raceform comment on the race concerning Obe Gold’s performance was: ’For the second time in 24 hours (Obe Gold) got his departure from the stalls all wrong, this time breaking awkwardly and unbalancing Kirsty Milczarek for several strides.’

“On this occasion his antics on exiting from the stalls caused Kirsty to hit the upright of the starting stall, causing her a very painful injury evidenced by bruising across her chest which was observed by both the racecourse doctor on the day and the physio at Newbury the next day.

“She knows absolutely nothing about any laying of this horse other than what she has been told by BHA investigators and of the eight non-licensed people, she knows only two of them as nodding acquaintances and has never spoken to them privately.”

An independent disciplinary panel hearing has been set for October 20 and is scheduled to last 10 days.

Chris Brand, acting chief executive of the BHA, said: “Protecting the integrity of racing is a key priority for the Authority.

“Racegoers and punters should be reassured that the overwhelming majority of races are free of suspicion and we are committed to deterring and detecting wrong-doing and taking action when we believe there is evidence of it.

“The charges issued by the Authority are the result of a lengthy, detailed and complex investigation, following suspicious betting activity on more than one betting exchange and with traditional bookmakers.”

The four jockeys will still be able to ride until the hearing begins in October.

Picture: Kirsty Milczarek

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