HARRY FINDLAY praised the judgement of the British Horseracing Authority’s appeal board after they decided to overturn his six-month disqualification from racing.
Findlay, who will be fined £4,500 instead, appealed on Wednesday against the decision of the BHA disciplinary panel to suspend him for breaching rules against owners laying bets on their own horses on betting exchanges.
The renowned gambler, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in partnership with Paul Barber, was a net backer – he had placed more money to win than to lose – on his horse Gullible Gordon in races at Exeter and Chepstow.
The appeal panel felt unable to decide on the available evidence whether Findlay’s Exeter lay bet was a mistake, as he had said, and they concentrated on Chepstow.
In this case, large back bets were placed first, followed by smaller lay bets in-running as Findlay said he knew the riding tactics were to make the running and he believed lay bets could be placed at odds more favourable to him. The plan was to reduce his overall exposure to the level he deemed appropriate whilst producing a better financial result than simply placing a smaller back bet.
The strategy improved his result by almost £4,500.
In a statement issued through his solicitors, Findlay said: “After two minutes of listening to Sir Roger Buckley (who chaired the appeal board), I knew that I was shorter than 1.01 to get the disqualification overturned.
“He was so impressive. He was flanked by two other panellists who, like him, obviously had a thorough knowledge of the case and this is all I wanted.
“After the undoubtedly toughest four weeks of my life, I very nearly actually smiled when he spoke of a ’gambler’s instinct’. I knew then that he understood the case and, in my language, he was simply ’the governor’.
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