A trainer was disqualified for four years and a jockey banned by the British Horseracing Authority on 4 April for breaking the rules of racing relating to the running of horses.

Trainer Jim Best was found guilty by the governing body’s disciplinary panel after Echo Brava and Missile Man failed to be placed in races at Plumpton and Towcester last December.

The jockey Paul John, pictured, was banned for 150 days, but his sentence was halved after he admitted the truth of the events.

“The case against Jim Best and Paul John concerned an issue that cannot be tolerated in British racing – the exploitation of a vulnerable young jockey by his employer in order to coerce him into breaking the rules of our sport to gain an unfair advantage,” said Adam Brickell, the BHA’s director of integrity, legal and risk.

He said the BHA was grateful to Paul John for explaining the reasons for his actions “as this has helped to reveal the full extent of Jim Best’s breach of the rules in these two cases.”

The disciplinary panel said Best was a “dishonest individual who corrupted a young man to ensure horses were not run on their merits.”

Best was found to have abused his position as a licensed trainer, threatening the young conditional jockey with dismissal if he did not carry out his instructions.


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In the race at Towcester on 17 December, Mr John went wide at the beginning of the race and was seen pulling on Missile Man throughout allowing him to lose position.

At  Plumpton on 14 December Echo Brava was also restrained, with the jockey feigning use of his whip.

“It is the responsibility of any trainer to act as a guide and mentor to young jockeys who are attached to their yard. No trainer can be allowed to abuse that relationship by pressurising jockeys to breach the rules,” added Mr Brickell.