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|Jockeys face 18-month ban if caught passing information for
Jockeys and trainers who profit from privileged
information can expect to be banned from racing for at least 18 months,
following confirmation by the Horseracing Regulatory Authority yesterday of
increased penalties for selling inside knowledge about a horse's
Licensed individuals who break the rules will also face
complete disqualification from the sport, meaning that they cannot work in
racing in any capacity, rather than the less severe penalty of the suspension
of their licence.
In recent months, a number of jockeys, including
Robert Winston, Tony Culhane and Shane Kelly, have been suspended for between
four months and a year for passing information for reward.
Under the new regime a
single breach of the rule - one involving information about one horse or one
race - will incur a disqualification of between nine months and five years,
with an "entry point", the "penalty for a single, average type of offence" set
at 18 months. At present, the entry point is nine months, with a range of three
months to three years.
Scotney, HRA's Director of Security
However, most cases brought under Rule 243,
which was introduced in 2003, involve multiple races. This means that in
practice, the ban for such offences could be a great deal longer than 18
months, since the disciplinary panel will have the ability to impose several
bans to run consecutively.
"It is important for people to realise that
the entry point is for one offence, and that penalties can be aggregated," Paul
Scotney, the HRA's head of security, said yesterday.
passing information for reward is now likely to be warned off for a substantial
period of time, and it will be complete disqualification, not suspension.
"Any case of the sort we have seen recently would now result in very
long bans, and there will no longer be the option to carry on working in the
"I think that we are justified in doing this now. We have made
it clear what inside information is, and we have set the mark in the sand.
There is no excuse for anyone any longer and there is now a very good chance
that anyone who breaks this rule will be caught."
The new rules would
also prevent jockeys who have been banned from claiming injury payments from
the riders' insurance scheme. Culhane, who is currently injured, was suspended
for a year for a breach of Rule 243 earlier this month. He will continue to
receive payments of £1,370 per week from the Professional Riders'
Insurance Scheme, which is funded by a surcharge on riding fees paid by owners.
Had he been disqualified rather than simply suspended, these payments would
have been stopped.
Owners and jockeys' agents are also covered by Rule
243, with an identical penalty range and entry point to those for riders and
trainers. Stable staff and service providers - blacksmiths, for example - face
an entry point of 12 months' disqualification, with a range of nine months to
"We believe that preventing licensed and registered people
who are guilty of this offence from any involvement in racing more accurately
reflects the seriousness of the offence," Malcolm Wallace, the HRA's director
of regulation, said.
The integrity of British racing is an important
selling point as the sport seeks to exploit betting markets around the world,
and the Racing UK group of racecourses yesterday announced significant progress
on three continents.
In the eastern time zones, agreement has been
reached to take British racing into Singapore, while in Australia, the Sky
channel will add two British meetings every Thursday to the two it currently
broadcasts every Saturday. In the Americas, British racing is now being
distributed in Brazil, while the New York Racing Association is promoting
British racing during August, in particular at the state's prestigious meeting