Six month ban for Jim Best

Trainer Jim Best has been found guilty at a rehearing of breaching the sport's rules regarding the running and riding of two horses in December of last year.

Jim Best has been found guilty

A British Horseracing Authority disciplinary panel 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".

Panel chairman Sir William Gage said: "That being so, the findings against Mr Best under Rule (C) 45 in respect of both races necessarily follow because he did not give his jockey proper instructions."

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

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The trainer, who denied all of the charges, was originally found in breach at a hearing in February.

But 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.

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''. The appeal board also said the disciplinary panel's reasons for its findings "were clearly insufficient to support its decision in this case".

The case revolved around the performances of Echo Brava at Plumpton on December 14 and Missile Man at Towcester on December 17. Both horses finished unplaced.

John was never disqualified from the sport nor excluded from racecourses, but he was banned for 150 days – between December 21, 2015 to May 19 this year – when he was unable to apply for a licence.

The new disciplinary panel, which also comprised of William Norris QC and Nicholas Wachman, retired to consider its penalty regarding the findings, with Best having seven days to appeal from receiving the reasons for the decision.

Read More at Sporting Life

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