Monday 11 December 2017

James Lambe in the clear following Turf Club inquiry

James Lambe, pictured at Cartmel. Picture: David Dew
James Lambe, pictured at Cartmel. Picture: David Dew
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

The Turf Club has finally brought an end to the Yachvili saga for James Lambe after informing the Armagh handler that he will not face any further questioning in relation to the evidence that he supplied during their investigation.

Back in February, Lambe was exonerated by the regulator of any role in the affair that led to jockey Eddie O'Connell being handed a four-year ban for conspiring to prevent Yachvili from running on its merits at Downpatrick in 2011.

Yachvili's owner Robert Martin and his British-based conspiracists Brian Keown and Lucy Stanton were disqualified for an aggregate 22 years after a referrals committee found that they had contrived to place a £10,000 lay bet on Betfair, though Martin is appealing his 10-year ban and O'Connell is also contesting the finding against him.

When the Turf Club published its lengthy findings on the case last month, it reiterated that Lambe was not involved in the "irregular arrangements relating to the running and riding of Yachvili," but added that he may be the subject of a separate inquiry in relation to what it perceived to be inconsistencies in his evidence.

Lambe has since been informed that he will not face any more questioning, though he is frustrated that the process took so long. "A lot of the damage is done by now," he stressed. "I've lost 50pc of my business over this. It's not a matter now of getting new clients, it's a matter of trying to hold onto the ones I have. I am on my knees.

"You do something in life for a reason – I train horses, I get paid for it and I have never been in for a non-trier. But some owners don't want to be involved with a trainer who has a cloud hanging over him, it's a mess that they don't want to be part of. It's going to take me two years to get back on my feet – it will take me at least that long to get owners' confidence back in me."

Meanwhile, all the leading fancies have stood their ground for tomorrow's Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. Aidan and Joseph O'Brien will try and deny the Queen's 2013 heroine Estimate with their St Leger hero Leading Light, while Mick Winters' Missunited and Dermot Weld's Pale Mimosa are among a seven-strong Irish-trained contingent in the 15-runner Group One.

Irish Independent

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