Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Irish jockey and trainer to appeal racing ban

An Irish trainer and jockey are to appeal a three-year disqualification from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) after they were found guilty of stopping a horse from winning.

Irish Racehorse Trainers Association chief executive Jim Kavanagh said Curragh trainer Eamon Tyrrell and jockey Jason Behan have been "hung out to dry" by the BHA.

"I don't think the crime justifies somebody losing their livelihood," he said. "I feel the absence of legal representation for Eamon Tyrrell and Jason Behan, with the BHA having a QC, was not a level playing field.

"In Ireland, if you don't have a legal representative, they don't bring it [to trial]. This was a case of two small people being hung out to dry to satisfy what they consider to be in the public interest," he said.

Tyrrell and Behan have now sought legal advice after the BHA panel found them guilty of not running Casela Park on his merits at Newcastle on August 4. The ban effectively ends both their careers for the immediate future at least.

Tyrrell, who has trained six winners in Britain over the past five seasons, said: "I've been in touch with my solicitor and it's under judicial review."

Casela Park finished sixth in the Newcastle race and Behan's ride was referred by the race stewards to the BHA who found the rider "guilty of deliberately preventing a horse from winning".

The five-year-old horse, with odds of 17-2, was beaten by two lengths after a race in which Behan appeared to swerve about and prevent him from going through several gaps. The BHA panel found that "but for its treatment by Behan, it would have won".

Behan and Tyrrell's disqualification period also starts today in Britain, but the Irish Turf Club will await news of any possible appeal before reciprocating the suspension.

Chief executive Denis Egan said: "The matter will be considered once the outcome of any appeal is known. If there is no appeal I imagine it will be reciprocated immediately."

The disciplinary panel came to its verdict on September 22 and has since been considering the penalty, which has an entry point of 18 months and a maximum of five years.

The length of the disqualification has provoked protest from the Irish racing fraternity, with many deploring what they see as making an example of two minor players while claiming bigger operators get away with similar misdemeanours.

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