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Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Trainer faces second hearing on two non-trier charges

Jim Best: set to send out four runners in one race on Monday
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Lewes trainer Jim Best will appear before a BHA disciplinary panel for a second time today on charges of instructing a jockey to stop two of his horses when a fresh hearing of the controversial case begins in London.

The inquiry, before a newly constituted panel, will start from scratch again after the guilty verdict and four-year disqualification imposed on Best after a hearing in April had to be quashed when it emerged the BHA was a client of Matthew Lohn, who chaired the first panel.

Because of a perception of bias over Lohn's involvement and the insufficiency of the reasons given to support his panel's findings, an appeal board ordered a rehearing, for which five days have been set aside.

Best faces three charges involving the running and riding of two horses in December 2015. The trainer, who denies the charges, is accused of ordering conditional jockey Paul John to ensure Echo Brava and Missile Man did not run on their merits in hurdle races at Plumpton and Towcester, and of conduct prejudicial to horse racing.

The trainer will again be represented by Jonathan Laidlaw QC, with Christopher Stewart-Moore acting as instructing solicitor.

The new panel will comprise retired Court of Appeal judge Sir William Gage, former amateur jump jockey William Norris QC and Nicholas Wachman, a former senior steward of the Turf Club in Ireland, where he has also served on the appeals and referrals committee.

In another change to the original line-up the BHA's case will be presented by barrister Louis Weston after Graeme McPherson QC, who was lead counsel at the first hearing, was dropped following objections from Best's legal team.

The trainer, who denies the charges, is accused of ordering conditional jockey Paul John to ensure Echo Brava and Missile Man did not run on their merits in hurdle races at Plumpton and Towcester

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