April 20, 2007
Racing bans after corruption inquiry
HRA imposes penalties of disqualification, suspension and exclusion
Four jockeys and a trainer have been found guilty of passing inside information for reward and 6 other people have been excluded from racing premises.
On Thursday 19th April 2007, after a 9 day hearing in March, a Disciplinary Panel of the Horseracing Regulatory Authority found that the jockeys Shane Kelly, Francis Ferris, David Nolan and Josh Byrne and the trainer Philip McEntee were guilty of passing on inside information for reward. Each was also found to have lied to or obstructed HRA investigators. Mr Kelly and Mr McEntee were suspended for 12 months, Mr Nolan for 9 months and Mr Byrne for 4 months. Francis Ferris was disqualified for 5 years.
Mr Ferris was the only jockey found to have stopped horses to assist the corrupt gambling, which led to the severe penalty. The penalty imposed on Mr Byrne was reduced as a result of his admission of breach of the rules of racing before the Inquiry began.
The investigation centred on 40 races between September 2004 and March 2005. The Panel, chaired by Timothy Charlton QC, found that inside information had been passed to a former registered owner Ajaz Khan. Mr Khan was excluded from racing premises for a minimum of 10 years. 5 of his associates were excluded for a minimum of 3 years.
This inquiry follows that in January 2007 when penalties were imposed on Mr Ferris and 3 other jockeys for similar offences in 2003 and 2004.