Racing: Berry protests innocence over running of lame filly

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Alan Berry, the Lancashire-based trainer, yesterday refuted charges that he conspired with three others in arranging to run a lame horse, the filly Hillside Girl, in a race at Carlisle last June in the interests of laying bets on betting exchanges.

Berry, the son of the rather more successful, record-breaking trainer Jack Berry, must now face a Jockey Club disciplinary panel. Alongside him will be the jockey Paul Bradley, amateur rider Dale Jewett and a farrier, Steve O'Sullivan.

Hillside Girl was pulled up lame after two furlongs in the Carlisle race, having drifted from odds-on to 21-1 on a leading betting exchange.

The four face charges of conspiring for the "commission of a corrupt or fraudulent practice in ensuring that Hillside Girl, a filly known or suspected of being lame and therefore with little chance of winning, should run in the interests of bets laid on betting exchanges".

Berry and Bradley, the jockey on the day, were interviewed by the stewards at Carlisle and they will also be charged with providing inaccurate information and omitting relevant information to the stewards.

John Maxse, the Jockey Club spokesman, said: "The race preceded by one day the implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding with exchanges which provides the Jockey Club with access to details of account holders. The progress of the investigation was delayed by O'Sullivan's reluctance to supply the Jockey Club with information relating to his betting accounts and telephone records."