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Harry hails judgement

Harry Findlay praised the judgement of the British Horseracing Authority's appeal board after they decided to overturn his six-month disqualification from racing.

Findlay, who will be fined £4,500 instead, appealed on Wednesday against the decision of the BHA disciplinary panel to suspend him for breaching rules against owners laying bets on their own horses on betting exchanges.

The renowned gambler, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in partnership with Paul Barber, was a net backer -- he had placed more money to win than to lose -- on his horse Gullible Gordon in races at Exeter and Chepstow.

The appeal panel felt unable to decide on the available evidence whether Findlay's Exeter lay bet was a mistake, as he had said, and they concentrated on Chepstow.

In this case, large back bets were placed first, followed by smaller lay bets in-running as Findlay said he knew the riding tactics were to make the running and he believed lay bets could be placed at odds more favourable to him.

The plan was to reduce his overall exposure to the level he deemed appropriate whilst producing a better financial result than simply placing a smaller back bet.

The strategy improved his result by almost £4,500.

In a statement issued through his solicitors, Findlay said: "After two minutes of listening to Roger Buckley (who chaired the appeal board), I knew that I was shorter than 1.01 to get the disqualification overturned.

"He was so impressive. He was flanked by two other panellists who, like him, obviously had a thorough knowledge of the case and this is all I wanted.

"After undoubtedly the toughest four weeks of my life, I very nearly actually smiled when he spoke of a 'gambler's instinct'.

"I knew then that he understood the case and, in my language, he was simply 'the governor'.

Connections of Kings Gambit have lost their appeal into the finishing positions of last Saturday's John Smith's Cup at York.

Tom Tate's gelding was beaten a short-head by Wigmore Hall in the valuable handicap but the pair came together in the closing stages. Wigmore Hall's jockey Martin Lane was given a one-day careless riding ban for allowing his mount to drift to the right, causing interference with Kings Gambit, but the stewards ordered the placings to remain unaltered.

Kings Gambit's jockey Jamie Spencer told Tate he felt he would have won otherwise and the trainer and owners Jim and Fitri Hay felt it worthwhile attempting to get the placings reversed.

Jason Maguire faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a broken ankle and a fractured shin bone in a fall at Worcester on Wednesday.

The jockey was partnering the Donald McCain-trained Morning Sunshine in the two-mile novices' handicap chase when the pair parted company at the very last fence.

Maguire was initially taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital but was transferred to Royal Gloucester Hospital on Thursday morning.

His agent Chris Broad said: "Jason's in good spirits considering the circumstances.

"He's broken his ankle in three places and also fractured his shin bone, so it's a nasty one.

"He'll obviously need an operation but they can't operate at present as there is still a lot of swelling.

"We didn't even discuss how long he's going to be out for as I don't think it's fair to do that until the operation has been done.

"Until we know that has been successful and we see what the specialist has to say afterwards, we won't be putting a timescale on it."


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