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18-month ban for O'Dwyer

The British racing authorities' no-nonsense approach to inside information and owners laying their own horse to lose has resulted in Irish jockey Jerry O'Dwyer being banned for 18 months, WRITES Marcus Armytage.

In addition, Newmarket trainer Jeff Pearce and retired Classic-winning trainer Geoff Huffer have been banned for three and four years, respectively.

This pair were found guilty yesterday by a disciplinary panel of conspiracy to ensure Sabre Light did not run on his merits at Lingfield in December 2008.

Tipperary native O'Dwyer was banned for 18 months for deliberately failing to ride the horse on its merits, while seven unlicensed individuals connected with the case -- Gary Banham, Sharon Williams, Peter Root, Mark Benton, Patrick Wrixon, Jeffrey Conrad and Steven Radford -- have been excluded indefinitely.

The Lingfield stewards were put on 'red alert' because of suspicious betting patterns before the race, but they found no breach of the Rules.

It was only after an 18-month investigation into the betting and ownership of the horse that what appeared to be a hornets' nest of deceit was uncovered.

The horse started at 7/2 second favourite, after opening on course at 11/4, and lay bets identified as belonging to those concerned in the case netted around £40,000 after the horse finished fifth. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent