Jim Best rehearing: The key questions for this week
Jim Best: accused of running horses not on their merits
PICTURE: Getty Images Jim Best rehearing: Key questions for this week By Jon Lees 6:15PM 20 NOV 2016
One of the most controversial cases in recent racing history resumes on Monday as Jim Best faces the BHA disciplinary panel. Here we refresh you of what has happened so far and what to expect:
Why is Jim Best facing a rehearing?
Because it emerged the chair of the BHA disciplinary panel which heard the first case in April, solicitor Matthew Lohn, had also carried out paid work for the regulator. An appeal board ordered a rehearing due to the perception of bias raised by Lohn's involvement and the insufficiency of the reasons giving to support the panel's findings.
What are the charges?
The Lewes trainer faces three charges involving the running and riding of two horses in December 2015. The trainer, who denies the charges, is accused of ordering conditional jockey Paul John to ensure Echo Brava and Missile Man did not run on their merits in hurdle races at Plumpton and Towcester, and of conduct prejudicial to horseracing.
Who are the members of the panel?
The panel will comprise retired Court Of Appeal judge Sir William Gage, former amateur jump jockey William Norris QC and Nicholas Wachman, a former Senior Steward of the Turf Club in Ireland, where he has also served on the Appeals and Referrals Committee.
Who will represent Best and the BHA?
Best will again be represented by Jonathan Laidlaw QC with Christopher Stewart-Moore acting as instructing solicitor. But in another change from the original line-up the BHA's case will be presented by barrister Louis Weston after Graeme McPherson QC, who was lead counsel at the first hearing was dropped following objections from Best's legal team.
What are the possible penalties if Best is found guilty?
The range for a non-trier offence depends on the finding by the Panel as to the circumstances. For bringing the sport into disrepute the entry point is a £2,000 fine or suspension, withdrawal of disqualification of licence for three months with the range £1,000 – £15,000 or one month to three year disqualification.
How long will the hearing last?
Five days have been set aside.
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