Leading Flat jockey banned

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  • One of the country’s leading Flat jockeys has been banned from race riding for a year for misusing inside information.

    Tony Culhane, 38, said he was “reckless”, but not corrupt when appearing before the disciplinary panel of the Horseracing Regulatory Authority (HRA) yesterday (9 July).

    Culhane admitted to discussing horses’ form with his brother-in-law Gary Lyons, a former jump jockey and Press Association race-reader, and his father-in-law, Dave Watkins.

    Lyons and Watkins then placed a series of bets over 37 races between July 2003 and February 2004, risking £311,000 to make a £56,000 profit. Only five of the bets were unsuccessful.

    Culhane’s weighing room colleague Dean Mernagh was suspended for nine months for his involvement. He was found guilty of passing on information, to both Lyons and Culhane, at £200 a time.

    Lyons and Watkins were both warned off (banned from all racecourses and licensed premises) for two years and five years respectively.

    The case brings the tally of jockeys banned or warned off by the HRA to 13 in less than three years.

    For more on racing’s crackdown on corruption, don’t miss this week’s H&H (12 July)

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