Best opts not to appeal against six-month ban

Jim Best was found guilty following a rehearing

PICTURE: Dan Abraham (racingpost.com/photos) Best opts not to appeal against six-month ban
By jon lees 4:10PM 20 DEC 2016

JIM BEST announced on Tuesday he would not be appealing the verdict of a disciplinary panel rehearing which found him guilty of ordering jockey Paul John to stop two horses.

The Lewes trainer had until tomorrow, seven days after the release of the panel's reasons for penalty were published, to challenge the findings for which he was suspended for six months.

But while still maintaining his innocence of the charges he has decided to accept the punishment, having received a four year disqualification, which was subsequently rescinded, when he appeared before a previous inquiry in April. Best's wife Suzie has applied to take over the licence at his yard.

A statement on the trainer's behalf released by Stewart-Moore solicitors said: "Despite wholeheartedly rejecting the finding of the latest disciplinary panel, Mr Best has taken the extremely difficult decision not to appeal the Panel's decision.

"Mr Best is innocent of the charges against him. The BHA's only witness, who they never bothered interviewing, was found by the panel to be unreliable and to have entered into a deal with the BHA in exchange for giving evidence against Mr Best.

"If these proceedings were in any forum where the prosecuting authority did not have so much at stake, Mr Best would be appealing. However, the two wildly contrasting penalties handed down by the first and second panels shows that BHA disciplinary proceedings are a lottery and Mr Best is unwilling to take yet another extremely expensive roll of the dice over his future and the futures of his family and staff.

"Moreover the deal between John and the BHA, the existence of which the BHA has absurdly denied throughout, and the failure to explain how a lawyer paid by the BHA ended up chairing the first disciplinary panel suggests that the BHA cannot be trusted to ensure that Mr Best receives a fair appeal hearing in any event. "

After the first hearing in April the original guilty verdict against Best and four year disqualification imposed had to be quashed after it emerged the BHA was a client of Matthew Lohn, the solicitor who chaired the first panel. Because of a perception of bias and the insufficiency of the reasons given to support the verdict an Appeal Board ordered a second hearing in front of another independent panel.

    Read More at Racing Post

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