Godolphin face ‘tapegate’ fine
Godolphin chief executive John Ferguson faces a slap on the wrist and his bosses a fine at British Horseracing Authority headquarters on Thursday, when he is asked to explain his role in a sponsorship wrangle that took place at Epsom on Oaks Day.
John Ferguson (left) chats with William Buick (right) earlier this season at Newmarket while another rider sports one of the offending garments
The day after the incident, racecourse stewards at Epsom held an inquiry into a breach of the code of conduct for racehorse owners' sponsorship and heard from Ferguson, who confirmed that he had told the groom leading up Oaks fancy Skiffle to wear a jacket with branding for Godolphin's sponsors Emirates, and also that he had removed adhesive tape placed on the silks of jockey William Buick by a BHA official obscuring the same branding.
Investec's sponsorship of the Oaks and the Derby includes an exclusivity deal for branding, and the BHA have now formally charged Godolphin with "knowingly and wittingly breaching the code", rule (A)39 of the Rules of Racing, an offence which carries a recommended penalty of a fine of between £1,000 and £25,000.
Ferguson is expected to attend the hearing at the BHA.