Trainer Best banned for four years

Jim Best

Trainer Jim Best will be banned until 3 April 2020

Trainer Jim Best has been disqualified for four years and jockey Paul John banned from applying for a licence for 150 days over the running and riding of two horses last year.

The pair were last month found to have breached the rules at Plumpton on 14 December and Towcester on 17 December.

Best was found guilty of failing “to secure the best possible placing” and “conduct prejudicial to horseracing”.

John was found guilty of two counts of failing to run a horse on its merits.

The British Horseracing Authority’s disciplinary panel described Best as a “dishonest individual who corrupted a young man to ensure horses were not run on their merits” and said his behaviour was “reprehensible”.

Best and John faced the BHA panel over the performances of Echo Brava at Plumpton on 14 December and Missile Man at Towcester three days later.

Both horses finished unplaced, with Best and John accused of failing to ensure they ran on their merits.

John was banned for 14 days by the Plumpton stewards after being found guilty of failing to take all reasonable and permissible measures to ensure the best possible placing for Echo Brava.

That was subsequently amended, with John charged with intentionally breaching the rules, prompting a further charge for Best.

The conditional jockey, whose ban was backdated to 21 December and will expire on 19 May, told the disciplinary panel his former boss had told him to stop horses on two occasions.

Adam Brickell, director of integrity, legal and risk for the BHA, said: “It is the responsibility of any trainer to act as 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 and this is reflected in the sanctions incurred by Jim Best.”

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