Horseracing Regulatory Authority v Fitzpatrick & Others
Court: HRA Disciplinary Panel
Judge: Tim Charlton QC, Stephen Allday, Nicky Vigours
Date of judgment: 16 Feb 2007
Professional discipline - Sport - Horseracing - Corruption
Jacob Dean (Applicant)
Instructing Solicitors: Oliver Codrington of the HRA
Four jockeys faced a series of charges before the Disciplinary Panel of the Horseracing Regulatory Authority accusing them of selling inside information in relation to forthcoming rides to a professional gambler, and, in some cases, ensuring that the horses ridden by them would lose, in order to benefit lay bets on the internet betting exchange Betfair.
(1) Had some or all of the jockeys passed inside information, and had they done so for reward?
(2) Had any of the jockeys ridden in order to lose?
(3) What penalties should be imposed for breaches of the rules?
Each of the jockeys was found by the Panel to have acted in breach of the rules of racing by selling inside information. The Panel held that the concept of inside information including a jockey’s opinion about his chances. The jockeys received penalties of suspension ranging from 9 months to 3 years. The most serious penalties were imposed on the jockeys found to have ridden to lose. The gambler who used the inside information was found guilty of a corrupt practice and was banned from premises licensed by the HRA for 10 years.
This is the most complex corruption inquiry brought before the Disciplinary Panel of the HRA to date. It shows the Panel’s willingness to draw inferences of corruption from evidence gathered by the increasing active security department of the HRA of telephone contact between jockeys and gamblers.