Monday 21 October 2019

Clutterbuck to appeal corruption ban

James Clutterbuck, son and assistant to Newmarket trainer Ken Clutterbuck, has lodged an appeal against a two-and-a-half-year ban from racing.

Clutterbuck was found guilty by the British Horseracing Authority of passing on inside information on March 9, 2011 when Stoneacre Gareth, trained by his father, finished fourth in a seven-furlong handicap.

The BHA said Clutterbuck entered a guilty plea on a factual basis, which was accepted.

James Clutterbuck's solicitor, Keith Lobo, of London-based St John Legal, said his client will contest the severity of the suspension.

A statement issued by Mr Lobo to Press Association Sport read: "Mr Clutterbuck was heard in advance by the BHA and separately from the other respondents having admitted to an innocent breach of the rules.

"There was no question of Mr Clutterbuck having received any financial reward or having acted dishonestly.

"Upon receipt of the admission and hearing submissions in mitigation, the BHA decision was to disqualify my client for 30 months without any fine being imposed.

"Although we will in due course be making an application for dispensation in any event to enable Mr Clutterbuck to renew work within the industry as soon as possible, following advice and in light of previous authorities he has decided to appeal the decision.

"In my view, keeping in mind that his breach was innocent, that his role was relatively innocuous, his exemplary record and the case authorities referred to, the 30-month period is extremely harsh.

"He stands a good chance of a reduction to that period on appeal. The appeal has been lodged and we are currently waiting for a hearing date."

The BHA said in a statement Clutterbuck had been charged with having conspired with former West Bromwich Albion footballer Neil Clement "to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice by providing inside information".

In-running punters Martin Raymond and Paul Hill, who were also accused of having received inside information as part of the Stoneacre Gareth case, have been cleared of all charges.

Raymond said: "I'm very pleased it is all over, I was surprised it got as far as charges in the first place.

"I'm delighted to have my name cleared. My solicitor Rory Mac Neice has been superb.

"It hasn't come as a great surprise but it's still a huge relief."

Hill said: "I don't know how it got to this stage, but I'm well pleased.

"There was only ever going to be one outcome .

"I knew in December we were going to be cleared - and that's exactly what happened."

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