April 24, 2006
Trainer’s appeal fails
Appeal Board upholds ban in corruption case
Racehorse trainer Shaun Keightley has failed in his attempt to overturn the ban from racing imposed on him by the Disciplinary Panel of The Jockey Club (now the Horseracing Regulatory Authority).
In December, the Panel found Keightley had instructed a jockey to ensure that his horse, RED LANCER, would not win or be placed, and had passed this information to a group of gamblers who then bet successfully against the horse to the tune of £17,000.
The Panel disqualified the trainer from any involvement in racing for 3 years, and from holding a trainer’s licence for a further 2 years. He was also fined for lying to investigators.
Keightley, represented by Richard Smith QC, asked the Appeal Board of the HRA to rule that there had been insufficient evidence to justify the Panel’s findings, and that evidence of the gamblers’ bad character should not have been admitted. He also claimed the penalties imposed were disproportionate.
After today’s hearing, the Appeal Board, chaired by former High Court Judge Sir Roger Buckley, held that the Panel’s conclusions were amply justified on the evidence; the evidence of propensity was rightly admitted, though the case would have been proved without it. The Board declined to interfere with the bans, observing that Keightley’s behaviour struck at the heart of racing. They reduced the fine to £1,000, but ordered Keightley to contribute £4,000 to the HRA’s costs of the appeal.
Keightley applied for permission to work in racing stables despite the bans. He had not done so before the Panel, and the Board ruled this was not a matter for it. Keightley has now applied to the Disciplinary Panel.
5RB‘s Mark Warby QC represented the HRA on the appeal.