Dunwoody denies rift

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The Independent Online
Unsurprisingly, bookmakers treat money with reverance, so when a tidal wave of the stuff appeared yesterday backing Adrian Maguire for the jockeys' championship, the layers reacted with more than just awe. William Hill, the recipients of the cash, decided to suspend betting on the title race, speculating that Maguire's only serious rival, Richard Dunwoody, may be about to sever his connection with the main supplier of his rides, Martin Pipe.

Dunwoody, champion for the last two years and in his second season with Pipe, has missed several rides for the Nicholashayne trainer in recent weeks, most noticeably on Riverside Boy in the Midlands National and on Kissair, Pipe's only success at the Cheltenham Festival.

But both Pipe and Dunwoody poured cold water on the whispers when quizzed at Worcester yesterday where a win for Dunwoody on the Tim Forster-trained General Wolfe restored him to parity with Maguire on 126 winners apiece. "I haven't heard the rumours and I know nothing - Richard's the one to ask," Pipe said. "You gentlemen have shocked me, but I don't read the papers in the morning as I'm too busy working.

"Nothing has been discussed about next season. There was never any agreement between Richard and me and whoever wants to leave can."

Dunwoody said: "There is a lot of rubbish being talked. Other than that I have absolutely no comment."

William Hill's spokesman, Graham Sharpe, said: "We were taking an incredible amount of money. Maguire was 6-5 with Dunwoody at 8-13 this morning, but Maguire was then backed down to evens. We continued taking money at that price until a number of four-figure bets started being staked.

"We decided to suspend the book until it became obvious why they were wanting to back Maguire. It will remain closed until a reason emerges."