Trainer Jim Best found guilty and suspended for six months

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  • Trainer Jim Best has been found guilty for breaking the rules of racing and suspended for six months after his case was reheard by a disciplinary panel.

    Mr Best was originally disqualified for four years on 4 April 2016 after Echo Brava and Missile Man failed to be placed in races at Plumpton and Towcester last December.

    A rehearing was ordered by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) appeal board after it came to light that the chair of the original hearing board, Matthew Lohn, had undertaken paid legal work for the BHA.

    The BHA conceded that while there was ”no suggestion of any actual bias’‘, the non-disclosure of Lohn’s other work ”created an appearance of bias”.

    On 12 December, the rehearing panel acting independently of the BHA ruled that it was “overwhelmingly likely” that Jim ordered jockey Paul John to stop the two horses.

    “We find that Mr John did intentionally ride both horses other than on their merits: that is, these were ‘stopping’ rides. We also find that is overwhelmingly likely that he rode in that way because those were Mr Best’s instructions.”

    It found Mr Best guilty of two charges relating to the running and riding of the two horses and of a third charge of bring the sport into disrepute.

    He was given a six-month suspension with no financial penalty.

    Jockey Paul was never disqualified from the sport nor excluded from racecourses, but he was banned for 150 days — between 21 December, 2015 to 19 May this year — during which period he was unable to apply for a licence.

    “Mr Best has until 19 December to lodge an appeal,” added a BHA spokesman. “In the meantime, the BHA will make no further comment on this case.”

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