A man has pleaded guilty after being charged with blackmail in connection with a Group One winning racehorse.

Twenty-six-year-old Andrew Rodgerson appeared before Bolton Crown Court yesterday (Monday 30 November) and pleaded guilty to blackmail in connection to alleged death threats against Conduit, trained by Sir Michael Stoute.

Four-year-old Conduit, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf and St Leger last year, was allegedly the subject of text message and email threats from a blackmailer.

Peter Reynolds, general manager of Ballymacoll Stud, who own Conduit, is said to have received messages threatening to kill the horse if it ran in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in July.

The son of Dalakhani travelled to the racecourse and was stabled with increased security. He went on to win the race under jockey Ryan Moore.

Mr Rodgerson is due to be sentenced on 4 January.