John claims Best gave ‘masterclass’ in stopping horses

Trainer Jim Best: denies telling John to stop two horses in 2015

PICTURE: Getty Images Best gave 'masterclass' in stopping horses – John
By Jon Lees 2:11PM 22 NOV 2016

PAUL JOHN on Tuesday claimed he was given a "masterclass" in stopping horses by trainer Jim Best and his brother Tom the night he had ridden Echo Brava, one of the two horses he claims he did not ride to win on his former boss's orders.

The ex-conditional jockey said he was called in to review the ride he had given at Plumpton, where he was banned for 14 days for not taking all reasonable and permissible measures on the Best-trained horse, who finished fifth in a novice hurdle.

John alleged he had been ordered to finish 30 lengths behind the winner, start off in a handy position until the field passed the stands for the first time and then slowly fall back, taking the horse short into his hurdles to make him lose ground.

He claimed he was taken through the race again after evening stables by the Best brothers, who pointed out what he could have done differently in order to finish further back.

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Best's barrister, Jonathan Laidlaw QC, asked John if this amounted to "a masterclass in stopping horses?" to which he responded: "Yes."

Laidlaw said: "I suggest no conversation took place. In fact Mr Best was with Jack Callaghan [owner of Missile Man]. After your ride Mr Best told you how disappointed he was. He thought you rode badly."

"He was disappointed because I made it so obvious," John replied.

Tension in texts

Later John admitted he sent a selfie photo to Best in which he had his fingers in a V-sign when the trainer sent him to the feedstore.

John claimed this was in a response to a text message, which he alleged had been deleted, which said, 'Well done for getting the feed today because that's what you will be doing for the next two weeks while you're banned, ha, ha, ha'.

Laidlaw said: "This is just a real indication of how challenging an individual you can be."

Lewes trainer Best denies two charges of instructing John to ride two horses not on their merits and another of conduct prejudicial to horseracing.

The hearing continues.

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