Result of a Disciplinary Panel hearing (Richie McGrath and Mark Aspey)

28 Apr 2015 Disciplinary Panel - Integrity Issues

The Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) have today returned their verdict from the hearing involving former licensed jockey Richie McGrath and registered person Mark Aspey which commenced on March 23 and completed on March 27 2015.

The Panel’s decision is as follows:

“Having considered the evidence and arguments put forward in the recent inquiry concerning Mark Aspey and Richie McGrath, the Disciplinary Panel reached the following results. The allegation of breach by Aspey and McGrath of Rule (A)41.2 was not found to be proved and was dismissed. The Panel did find that Richie McGrath was in breach of Rule (B)58 in the sense explained in (B)59.2 in one instance – the ride of RUMBLE OF THUNDER at Fakenham on 1 January 2011. But this was a breach of the least serious kind, described in the Guide to Procedures and Penalties as a schooling run. In other words it was a free-standing breach of the Rule and not a part of any conspiracy to ride to lose if necessary, which was the allegation made by the Rule (A)41.2 charge. Full reasons for the Panel’s findings will be published in a few days.”

The Panel will now consider submissions as to how penalties – if appropriate – will be dealt with.

Notes to Editors

1. The Panel for the hearing was: Tim Charlton QC (Chair), Hopper Cavendish and Didi Powles.

2. The BHA are unable to make any further comment until being in receipt of the Panel’s full written reasons, which will be published in due course.

3. A breach of Rule (B)59.2 in terms of schooling a horse in public carries an entry point penalty of a 14 day suspension with a range of 10 – 18 days.

4. The charges against McGrath and Aspey were as follows:

1. Whether Richie McGrath and Mark Aspey, in the period between about 1 October 2009 and 18 July 2012, acted in breach of Rule (A) 41.2 by conspiring together and/or with others unknown to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice, namely the use of inside information about the likely performance of horses for betting purposes when:
a) the information was (i) known by a licensed jockey, Richie McGrath, as a result of acting as a licensed jockey and (ii) not information in the public domain or regarded as such under the Rules of Racing (and hence ‘Inside Information’ as defined within Rule (A) 36) and would provide a bettor with an unfair advantage in the betting market.
b) the information was or included the fact that Richie McGrath was prepared, if necessary, to omit to ride the horses on their merits so as to prevent it from winning or being placed in the race.
2. Whether Richie McGrath acted in breach of Rule (B) 59.2 by intentionally failing to ensure that he rode the horses set out in the additional table of races on their merits.

5. The table of races upon which the case was based here: