Jockey Club fines Matthew Batchelor £2,500
The Jockey Club Disciplinary Panel found Matthew Batchelor in breach of Rule 220(viii) of the Rules of Racing for misleading Jockey Club Investigation Officers.
Jump jockey Matthew Batchelor was questioned by Jockey Club Investigating Officers on 2 June 2004 during an investigation into the running and riding of Tollbrae at Leicester on 18 February 2004 and Ice Saint at Fontwell on 8 March 2004. No charges were brought against Mr Batchelor in respect of either of those races, but as a result of various answers he gave during the interview he was charged with a breach of rule 200(viii) of the Rules of Racing. Rule 220(viii) makes it an offence under the Rules deliberately to mislead or by an overt act endeavour to mislead an official of the Jockey Club in connection with the administration or control of racing.
The Disciplinary Panel was composed of the Duke of Roxburghe as Chairman, Lord Rathcreeden and, notably, Timothy Charlton QC, sitting on his first inquiry since being appointed as one of two new legally qualified members of the Jockey Club Disciplinary Committee in January 2005.
The Panel found that Mr Batchelor had committed a breach of Rule 220(viii) in that during the interview on 2 June he had repeatedly falsely denied that during February and March 2004 he had been telephoning John McCracken, a Brighton based professional gambler. He was also found in breach for telling investigating officers that he did not know John McCracken well and did not speak to him on a regular basis when, in fact, he was shown to have (or have had) a close relationship with John McCracken including regular telephone and personal contact.
Mr Batchelor was fined £2,500. The maximum penalty for the offence was a fine of £7,000 or a period of suspension or exclusion.
The fine sends a message to persons licensed by the Jockey Club of the importance of full and open cooperation with investigators.
5RB’s Jacob Dean represented the Jockey Club.
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