Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Casela pair given three-year bans

Horse racing

Irish trainer Eamon Tyrrell and jockey Jason Behan have both been banned for three years by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) disciplinary panel.

They had previously been found guilty of "deliberately preventing a horse from winning" at Newcastle on 4 August.

The BHA concluded Behan had not ridden the horse Casela Park on its merits.

The five-year-old, sent off at odds of 17-2 in the register@sportpool.co.uk Handicap, 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, and has not raced since.

The more the panel viewed the recordings, the more it felt driven to this view

BHA summary

Casela Park also received a ban of 42 days from 6 October to 16 November.

The panel's summary of the case found: "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."

In banning the pair 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 both to the Newcastle Stewards and the Panel by Tyrrell and Behan.

During the disciplinary hearing both Tyrrell and Behan drew attention to their previous good disciplinary records. They also said they had not gained financially from this race (or the later race at Musselburgh), and each pointed out his parlous financial position. Behan said he had no other source of income but racing.

The fact remains that they have committed one of the sport's cardinal sins

British Horseracing Authority

The panel did not view the nature of the ride or the dishonesty involved in deliberately stopping the horse from winning (which cheated both win and place backers) as particular aggravating features.

They also concluded that "Cheating of punters will happen whenever a horse is stopped, and the blatant restraint by Behan might even be thought a less insidious danger to the sport than a smoother, less eye-catching ride which also prevents a win.

"However the evidence given both to the Newcastle Stewards and to the Panel has been found to be deliberately false, and does make the case worse. They did not have to lie when found out."

The BHA added: "While it is correct that there is no evidence of financial gain here, that is at least in part because the furore generated by the Newcastle ride caused changed riding plans for Musselburgh, and, perhaps, changed betting plans.

"Even taking full account of the previous good disciplinary records of both Tyrrell and Behan, the fact remains that they have committed one of the sport's cardinal sins."

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