Paul John ready to move on
Paul John, the jockey embroiled in the Jim Best saga, hopes his recent experience serves as a pointer to young riders of the future.
John admitted to stopping two Best-trained horses, Echo Brava at Plumpton on December 14 and Missile Man at Towcester on December 17 last year.
In a long drawn out case Best was initially found guilty of ordering "stopping" rides on the horses and banned for four years by a disciplinary panel of the British Horseracing Authority.
However, 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.
Best appealed and the verdict was quashed leading to another hearing, after which the trainer was handed a six-month suspension.
While John admits he was totally in the wrong for agreeing to stop the horses in the first place, he hopes the coverage of the case means no other jockey has to have to same experience.
Speaking to The Times John said: "You know what, if I end up as a martyr and I never ride a race again, I hope that young lads coming into the sport can learn from this and understand that they are not alone and that whatever a trainer might try to do to them, they have to be strong.
"Then I will be happy. It will all have been worth it. I wanted to make sure that no other jockey will ever have to experience what I have experienced. I wanted to do the right thing and I have."
To further muddy the waters it has emerged Best's wife Suzie has applied for a trainer's licence.
"I hope she doesn't get one," said John. "It would make a mockery of everything. Ultimately I don't care how long Best got. The fact is he is guilty and the people who matter, [the panel] accept I told the truth.
"I wish above all else I had had the strength to refuse to carry out Best's instruction. Everyone has a choice but, at the time, I thought I didn't. I felt cornered. I wish I'd been strong enough to have said no. I accept I am responsible for tarring the name of racing. No one had a gun to my head at the time.
"It's been a horrible time. I cannot stress enough how horrible. Riding is all I ever wanted to do. All I want to do now is move on.
"I love racing. There is nothing like the buzz of going over a fence and winning a race, that few seconds before and after the line. I have missed that dearly."
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