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Reilly must pay off debt before return

JOCKEY Brian Reilly's comeback, after an 18-month disqualification, is being prevented by his inclusion on the forfeit list for a debt of more than £3,000.

Under normal circumstances, Reilly would havebeen able to return to the saddle today, but the BHA will not grant him a new licence until the money has been paid.

The debtdates back to the £2,600 costs that Reilly was ordered to pay to the sport's regulator after losing an appeal against his banin March 2007. With interest, that sum has now reached £3,084.38.

Being on the forfeit list effectively amounts to being warned off, and Reilly cannot enter a racecourse until his name has been removed.

At the first BHA inquiry, Reilly was found guilty of passing information for reward, aiding and abetting a corrupt practice, deliberately misleading investigators and intentionally failing to ride Three Ships on its merits at Wolverhampton in January 2005.

However, he and apprentice Dean Williams, who was given the same ban, could have been hit with a harsher punishment were it not for the disciplinary panel deciding the prime mover in the affair had been owner and former bookmaker Owen Churchill, who they believed had "groomed" the two riders for corrupt purposes.                                                                                   

BHA spokesman Paul Struthers said on Sunday: "Brian Reilly will have to clear the outstanding debt before any licence application will be considered."

In response, Reilly said: "I spoke to them about this afew months ago. It is not as if I've got the money ready to go, but I'll get it sorted out when I'm ready."

Until a month ago, Reilly was working for Ed Peate's pre-training yard in Newmarket, alongside Williams, who has similarly not reapplied for his licence though eligible to do so in July.

After his weight rose to more than 10st, Reilly is now battling to get back into racing shape by visiting the gym twice a day.

"It is going well," he said. "I have still got a bit to go and I think I have got another two or three weeks to get back to normal, but I am enjoying it.

"I'll be coming back, but I want my fitness to be like it was in my early 20s before I decide to do so."


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