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Arnold pulls runner
out in wake of probe

OWNER and professional gambler Stephen Arnold withdrew Brown Pete at Wolverhampton on Monday after the Racing Post revealed he is facing ten counts of laying his horses to lose on Betfair.

The charges were confirmed by the BHA on Monday, after Arnold had earlier been subject to what he described as “a barrage of abuse” on Twitter.

Arnold, 44, admits the offences, but is adamant in each instance he laid the horses for small amounts in order to back them for substantial sums at the best price available with bookmakers.

Professional punter Harry Findlay mounted a similar defence in 2010 after being charged with laying his own horses and was fined £4,500 after his six-month warning-off was quashed by the BHA appeal board.

The ten all-weather races at the centre of the disciplinary inquiry scheduled to be heard on December 5 cover the period between June 18, 2012 and March 15 this year, and involve nine of Arnold’s horses. They include Brown Pete, who was laid to £50 by Arnold when beaten in a race at Lingfield last November.

The charges stem from a BHA investigation into the Brown Pete affair at Wolverhampton last December, when Arnold and his associates won around £130,000 after another three of his horses were withdrawn from a race won by Brown Pete amid claims of transport problems.

Arnold said: “I rang up [BHA investigating officer] Tim Miller and told him I didn’t feel like going to Wolverhampton with Brown Pete when he was the key to the start of all this business. He spoke to Lyn Williams [BHA disciplinary manager], who gave us permission for the horse to be withdrawn because of all the press scrutiny at the moment.

“Had Brown Pete won there would have been even more adverse publicity, and I couldn’t face it after the barrage of abuse I’ve had all day.”

Arnold, who has 21 horses under the Rakebackmypoker.com banner with Violet Jordan, and runs On The Cusp at Southwell on Tuesday, added: “I’m pleased I spoke to the Post to explain my side because all the BHA statement says is I’ve been charged with laying.”

 
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