Trainer disinclined to appeal against guilty verdict
Jim Best suggested on Tuesday he would not appeal against his six-month suspension from training, citing the financial drain and stress the ten-month trial has had on him and his family.
While no decision has been taken by Best, who plans to consult further with his family before the seven-day window for appeals closes, the trainer seemed reluctant to enter into another battle with the BHA, despite maintaining his innocence.
He said: “I’ve always maintained I’m not guilty of anything from day one. This has dragged on for nearly a year and the effect it’s had on my life financially and the stress I’ve gone through, and my family’s gone through, has to be taken into account.
“We’re only a small yard and it’s had a real effect on me. I’ve had serious issues with stress and depression and financially in every way it’s affected my life. At the moment I’m debating an appeal but I’ve got to take into account the damage it’s already done to me.”
Best, who was found guilty of instructing jockey Paul John to intentionally prevent Echo Brava and Missile Man from running on their merits last year and guilty of conduct prejudicial to the reputation of racing, slammed the BHA for its conduct during the hearings.
“The way I was treated throughout this I found disgusting and shocking and my treatment from the BHA has been a disgrace,” he said.
“Yesterday’s six-month suspension showed the first decision was totally biased. After the horrendous battles I’ve had with the BHA, I’d have major concerns for any trainer coming up against them.”
The BHA yesterday confirmed it was committed to answering a number of questions relating to the use of Matthew Lohn, who chaired the original disciplinary panel which had its verdict quashed over the perception of bias, and costs relating to the Lohn cases once the Best hearing was completed.