The English media has been following a major horseracing corruption case involving eight men, including trainer Paul Blockley and jockey Dean McKeown (48), both of whom were ‘warned off' [banned] last week as racing's latest corruption inquiry came to a close.
The central allegation in the case was that all were involved in a conspiracy to exploit inside information about Blockley's runners in the 11 races that were all successfully layed to lose on betting exchange site Betfair. The bets in question risked a total of GBP 182 541, but because every bet was a winner, the overall profit for the ring was GBP 61 909.
The British Horseracing Authority which invesigated and considered the facts ordered that McKeown be warned off for four years and Blockley for two and a half, both having been found to be part of a conspiracy to lay insider bets on the Betfair betting exchange. The pair breached rule 201 (v), designed to prevent trainers and jockeys from conspiring with other persons to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice.
The actual gambling was carried out by others, using inside information from the duo.
Other members of the corruption ring included racehorse owner Clive Whiting, who was found to be in breach of rule 201 (v) and 220 (vii) (b) in that he misled BHA investigators. Fellow owners David Lovatt and Martyn Wakefield, along with Whiting's brother Vincent, former owner Marcus Reeder, David Wright and Nicholas Rook were all found guilty of breaching rule 201 (v).
Clive Whiting was disqualified for eight years, Vincent Whiting excluded for four years, Wright disqualified for six years, Rook excluded for six years, Reeder disqualified for 18 months, and Wakefield disqualified for 18 months. Lovatt was fined GBP 20,000.
Blockley was also found guilty of failing to give McKeown the necessary instructions to ensure his mount, Hits Only Money, ran to its merits at Wolverhampton in December 2005 — a violation of rule 155 (ii).
McKeown was judged to have contravened rule 157 in that he intentionally failed to ensure that horses Only If I Laugh, Smith N Allan Oils, Hits Only Cash and Hits Only Money ran on their merits in races between June 2004 and December 2005.
Those involved were given seven days to respond to the BHA's findings and punitive measures.
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