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July 21, 2009

Horseracing inquiry ends with admissions

Category: News

Krypton Four” penalised for inside information breaches


One jockey has admitted deliberate ‘non-trying’, and he and 3 others have admitted involvement in the use of inside information for gambling, at the end of an Inquiry by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) into 12 races from 2004. Some of the races had featured in a high-profile Old Bailey trial in 2007, arising from the City of London Police’s Operation Krypton.  

Jockeys Fergal Lynch and Darren Williams and gambler Miles Rodgers were among those accused at the Old Bailey of conspiracy to defraud by fixing races. All defendants were acquitted in December 2007, when Forbes J ruled they had no case to answer.

15 months later, after review of material from the prosecutors and further investigation, the BHA charged Lynch, Williams and Rodgers with breaches of the Rules of Racing. Trainer Karl Burke, who had not faced criminal charges, was also accused by the BHA. All have now made admissions.

The main allegations were that between May and August 2004 Lynch, Williams and Burke all passed inside information to Rodgers, enabling him to profit by £87,000 by betting that horses would lose. This happened though Rodgers was a disqualified person, meaning licensed persons were barred from any racing dealings with him. It was also alleged that on one occasion Fergal Lynch deliberately failed to ride a horse, BONDCITY, on its merits.

Shortly before the Disciplinary Panel was due to hear the BHA’s case, both jockeys admitted breaches of the Rules. Lynch admitted “stopping” BONDCITY, passing inside information for reward on six occasions, placing bets with Rodgers and wrongfully associating with him. The Panel imposed a £50,000 fine with Lynch undertaking not to ride here for at least 12 months.

Williams admitted passing inside information to Rodgers for favour on 5 occasions and wrongful association with Rodgers. He was disqualified for 3 months.

These penalties took account of 18 month interim suspensions imposed on Lynch and Williams pending the criminal trial.

When the hearing resumed, Karl Burke admitted passing inside information to Rodgers for reward on 6 occasions and wrongfully associating with him. The Panel disqualified Burke for 12 months. He has announced he will appeal the penalty.

Miles Rodgers admitted all charges against him except asking Lynch to stop BONDCITY. The Panel described Rodgers as “cagey” on this point, and found against him. Observing that Rodgers had “wreaked havoc with the sport” the Panel excluded him indefinitely, recommending that the BHA do not consider relaxing this penalty for 10 years.

5RB’s Mark Warby QC, Jacob Dean and Victoria Jolliffe advised and acted for the BHA.