No appeal from Jim Best

Jim Best has not appealed against the six-month suspension he received following a rehearing into the running and riding of two horses in December last year.

Trainer Jim Best has opted not to appeal

The Lewes-based handler was last Monday given the ban, with no financial penalty, by a British Horseracing Authority disciplinary panel after it ruled Best had instructed conditional jockey Paul John to ride Echo Brava and Missile Man other than on their merits and that they were "stopping rides".

Best was also found to be in breach of the rule governing conduct prejudicial to horseracing.

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A statement issued on behalf of Best from Stewart-Moore Solicitors read: "Despite whole-heartedly 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."

Best was originally found in breach at a hearing in February, leading to a four-year disqualification.

This was, however, quashed on appeal after it emerged the chairman of the disciplinary panel at that hearing, solicitor Matthew Lohn, was engaged by the BHA on other matters, giving rise to claims of an appearance of bias in favour of the governing body.

An appeal board also said the disciplinary panel's reasons for its findings ''were clearly insufficient to support its decision in this case''.At Best's appeal in May, the guilty verdict and penalty were quashed and a rehearing ordered, with the BHA having conceded that while there was "no suggestion of any actual bias" in the case, the non-disclosure of Lohn's other work "created an appearance of bias".A disciplinary panel last week concluded that the BHA had entered into a "deal" with John, who expected to be "favourably treated" by racing's rulers in exchange for giving evidence against Best.Speaking on behalf of Best, Stewart-Moore Solicitors said that "BHA disciplinary proceedings are a lottery" and that their client is not prepared to "take yet another extremely expensive roll of the dice".Stewart-Moore Solicitors' statement read: "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."Last week it emerged that Best's wife, Suzie, had applied for a licence in a bid to take over the running of the suspended trainer's yard.

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