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Eddie Ahern

Eddie Ahern: will have to wait to learn his fate as hearing ends early

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch  

Ahern awaiting verdict as hearing ends early

EDDIE AHERN will have to wait to learn his fate after racing's latest corruption inquiry was adjourned on Thursday to allow the disciplinary panel time to reach their judgement.

Ahern, who faces the prospect of a lengthy ban from the sport if found guilty, was charged with conspiring to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice in relation to the laying of five beaten horses he rode between September 2010 and February 2011.

The former champion apprentice in Ireland who has ridden 1,030 winners since moving his base to Britain in 1998, was also accused of intentionally failing to ensure the Jane Chapple-Hyam-trained Judgethemoment was ridden on its merits when last of seven at Lingfield in January 2011, and of passing information for reward. He denied all the allegations.

The hearing ended earlier than had been anticipated as former professional footballer, Neil Clement, the subject of several charges, failed to appear, and after hearing evidence over three days, the panel on Thursday devoted their time to considering written submissions and studying videos of the relevant races.

Charges against the other three individuals in the case, Ken Clutterbuck's son and assistant trainer James, former jockeys' agent and in-running punter Martin Raymond, and another in-running punter, Paul Hill, concerned only the laying of Stoneacre Gareth in the 7f handicap at Lingfield on March 9, 2011, in which the 11-4 favourite finished fourth of ten.

Ken Clutterbuck and Stoneacre Gareth's jockey, Adam Kirby, were cleared of any wrongdoing at an early stage of the investigation.

Ahern has been forced to miss this weekend's Guineas meeting at Newmarket and next week's Chester Cup, which he has won and finished second with Overturn in the last two renewals, as a result of two careless riding bans and a breach of the whip rules last month.

BHA spokesman, Robin Mounsey, said: "The hearing has come to a close and a result is expected in due course. If any of the individuals are found in breach, a hearing on penalties will be arranged."

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