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Paul Gilligan hit with 18-month Turf Club disqualification

Dubawi Phantom banned for life after referral committee hearing

Paul Gilligan: Turf Club has agreed to reciprocate penalty imposed by BHA
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Paul Gilligan has been disqualified for 18 months and Dubawi Phantom banned for life after the Turf Club's referral committee found the trainer guilty of running the horse in three races at Irish tracks while unqualified. 

The three-man referral committee, which comprised Justice Tony Hunt, Justice Leonie Reynolds and Colm Magnier, also agreed to reciprocate the six-month penalty imposed by the BHA for the running of the unqualified Dubawi Phantom at Uttoxeter in June 2014, a race he won quite cosily. 

The 18-month disqualification the Turf Club imposed on Gilligan will start on April 26 and will not end until the autumn of 2018. 

The committee imposed the ban for running Dubawi Phantom twice at Kilbeggan and once at Sligo when the trainer should have known that the horse had been flapping at the unlicensed Dingle Festival in August 2013.

In December Gilligan was disqualified by the BHA for six months for a second time after he was found guilty of running an unqualified horse in a race at Uttoxeter.

A rehearing of a case first heard in April found Gilligan had breached the rules in sending Dubawi Phantom to win a handicap hurdle at the Midlands track in June 2014 after running the horse at an unrecognised meeting in Ireland under an alias.

The trainer, from Athenry, County Galway, was found guilty of the same offences and disqualified for six months at the previous hearing, but the findings had to be quashed over an appearance of bias after Matthew Lohn – who also chaired the original Jim Best case – headed the BHA disciplinary panel.

He ran twice at Kilbeggan and also showed up at Sligo and the Turf Club believed he should have known that the horse had been flapping
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