Gilligan banned for 6 months – again

Irish trainer Paul Gilligan has been disqualified for six months at a rehearing by a disciplinary panel of the British Horseracing Authority for sending a horse to race at Uttoxeter who had previously competed at an unrecognised meeting in Ireland.

The Galway handler had received the same penalty in March, from a panel chaired by Matthew Lohn, for running Dubawi Phantom at Uttoxeter when he was not qualified to run in Britain. The inquiries chaired by Lohn were subsequently identified as having been potentially unsound. They also included the Jim Best case.

The Gilligan inquiry was reheard by a panel comprising of Patrick Milmo QC, Lucinda Cavendish and Jeremy Barlow.

The panel, which acts independently of the BHA, ruled that the trainer should be disqualified from racing for six months and that Dubawi Phantom should be disqualified from the race at Uttoxeter on June 29, 2014.

"He has been found in breach and he has been disqualified for six months. That is the same penalty he got first time round," said BHA spokesman Robin Mounsey. "The written reasons will follow, probably in the new year."

The affair stems back to August 2013, when a horse named Ayres Rock ran at the Dingle festival.

According to Gilligan, he acquired a gelding named Dubawi Phantom in November of the same year from a friend but was subsequently prevented from running him at the following year's Galway Festival by stewards, who believed the horse was in fact Ayres Rock.

Dubawi Phantom had run and won at Uttoxeter prior to Galway and the BHA began its own investigations upon being informed of the Turf Club's findings.

The BHA's veterinary officer Nick Bowen studied photographs and DVD recordings of the previous outings of both Dubawi Phantom and Ayres Rock and concluded it was the same horse, based largely on its idiosyncratic markings.

Read More at Sporting Life

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