Best head lad claims BHA forced him out of the sport

Jim Best: trainer's former head lad Paul Cooley had two rides last year

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker ( Best head lad claims BHA forced him out of sport
By Bruce Jackson 2:29PM 25 NOV 2016

PAUL COOLEY, former head lad to Jim Best, accused the BHA of ruining his riding career by not renewing his riding licence this year, with the authority citing his involvement in the case.

Cooley, 22 and about to become a father, said: "I had to leave racing as the BHA didn't make a decision about my apprentice licence. I still think there was a chance I could make it as a rider."

He told the panel he had been apprenticed to Tim Jarvis before joining Best and had one ride in 2014 and two last year, with a third placing his best finish.

Cooley described Paul John as "cocky." He said: "He misbehaved, had a bad attitude and was lazy," and after John squared up to him he "tiptoed around him" before John finally left the yard because he said he had not got Christmas Day and Boxing Day off.

While John had told the panel in his evidence that he did not drink, Cooley spoke of John getting drunk at the local pub and explaining how he lost weight to make riding weights by drinking heavily and being dehydrated when weighing out.

Moore's phone cut out

After a hiatus when trying to contact Jamie Moore for his evidence, with the jockey's car phone cutting out twice on his way to ride at Doncaster, the panel accepted the rider's original evidence, given to the previous inquiry.

The panel were then handed closing submissions from both sides and retired to read them.

The hearing was set to restart after lunch with the panel asking questions about the closing submissions of Jonathan Laidlaw QC, for Best, and Louis Weston, for the BHA.

The panel have already declared no decision will be reached today on the case against Best for allegedly having ordered stopping rides on Echo Brava at Plumpton and Missile Man at Towcester three days apart last December and for bringing the sport into disrepute by those actions.

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