Racing: Carter accused of stopping eight horses

Gary Carter is the latest jockey to become embroiled in race-corruption allegations following the charge that, in a two-month period last year, he may have ridden as many as eight non-triers.

Gary Carter is the latest jockey to become embroiled in race-corruption allegations following the charge that, in a two-month period last year, he may have ridden as many as eight non-triers.

Carter, a 38-year-old freelance rider, will have to answer to the Jockey Club about his involvement with Christopher Coleman, a London-based tailor who was banned from all British racecourses for a minimum of two years last January.

Coleman was the last of eight individuals called to Portman Square as a result of evidence given at the trial of the former jockey Barrie Wright at Southampton Crown Court in October 2001. Coleman said in court that he paid Wright with either cash or clothes in return for tips. Coleman, also known as "Bosh", claimed he had a similar arrangement with up to 10 riders over a 15-year period from 1987.

Of the eight Carter rides under investigation, only one - the last of them - came to the attention of the stewards. He was banned for 10 days for failing to take all reasonable or permissible measures to secure the best placing on Lilli Marlane, who finished fifth at Ascot on 26 September last year.

Speaking at the time, the jockey told reporters: "The filly hadn't run for six weeks and had had to miss quite a bit of work in that time. The stewards told me she'd gone from 3-1 to 9-2 on the betting exchanges, but what is that supposed to mean to me? I've been in the weighing room all day and haven't been able to use my phone."

Carter had a troubled time in 2002, when he was suspended for 12 months in Singapore for riding an alleged non-trier. The ban was reduced to 12 racing days on appeal. Now the running of seven other horses last year are cited in the rider's alleged association with Coleman.

Also set to appear before the Jockey Club's disciplinary panel are the trainer Shaun Keightley and another jockey, Pat McCabe, who will face a hearing over the failure of Red Lancer to run on his merits at Wolverhampton last October. Again, Coleman is suspected to have been involved in the case in connection with bets laid on the horse on win and place markets on the betting exchange Betfair.

Keightley, who was unavailable for comment, faces two further charges of obstructing a Jockey Club investigation in statements given to an investigator and associating with someone excluded from racing.

John Maxse, for the Jockey Club, confirmed that both hearings had come about "as a result of long and thorough investigations". "Our security department is better equipped than ever with regards to the tools available to us for investigating allegations of malpractice," he said. "The memorandum of understanding with betting exchanges and bookmakers, in conjunction with access to telephone records of licensed individuals, has made a considerable difference to the way in which investigations such as this can be approached."

McCabe issued an immediate denial of the allegations concerning Red Lancer. "Pat denies absolutely that he has done anything wrong," Richard Brooks, his solicitor, said. "He is stunned that the Jockey Club has taken the step of charging him. It was understandable when the security department contacted Pat, given the publicity about the Red Lancer race. Pat answered the questions put to him. He was asked to provide his telephone records, which is perfectly normal. He had nothing to hide and obtained them immediately.

"To say this charge is a surprise is something of an understatement. It is a real bolt from the blue. He has been charged in connection with Christopher Coleman, a man who he has never met or spoken to."

Brooks added: "I know that the security department deserve the support of the racing industry, but the result of some of its work is very damaging. They have added two plus two and reached completely the wrong answer. There is no shred of evidence to convict Pat McCabe, but publicising his name does effectively the same job."

There were stout words of defence too from Carter. "The charges are a real shock, and I categorically deny them all," the jockey said. "I have done nothing wrong, yet my co-operation with the security department has now resulted in my name being publicised in a terribly damaging way.

"I thought the security department deserved the support of racing, but in my case they have got things totally wrong. At the same time they have insisted on publishing the allegations, with little or no regard to the consequences that this will have on my career."

Andrew Chalk, who will represent the jockey, said: "Serious questions need to be asked about the way this case has been handled. The Jockey Club has to protect the integrity of racing, but must also bear in mind the effect on the people involved and act fairly. Publishing such unproven allegations, about races that took place nearly a year ago, does not protect integrity, but it is likely to do enormous harm to Gary's career."

CARTER'S EIGHT RIDES UNDER INVESTIGATION

Meadaaf (Newmarket, 1 August, 2003) Drifted from 3-1 to 7-2; finished 4th of 8 runners, beaten 14 lengths. Faded 2 furlongs out

Aljazeera (Doncaster, 2 August) Drifted from 3-1 to 5-1; finished 4th of 7, beaten 2 lengths. Short of room between 1f & 2f out

Kristal's Dream (Windsor, 4 August) Drifted from 7-1 to 10-1; finished 6th of 10, beaten 2 lengths. Not clear run, ran on final furlong

Dodona (Lingfield, 8 August) Drifted from 3-1 to 5-1; finished 2nd of 12, beaten short-head. Dodona's head hit by rival's whip 1f out

Tasneef (Lingfield, 8 August) Drifted from 5-1 to 6-1; finished 6th of 7 runners, beaten 12 lengths. Faded 2f from home

Silvaline (Pontefract, 17 August) Drifted from 4-1 to 9-2; finished 3rd of 13 runners, beaten 8 lengths. Kept on at same pace

Saxe-Coburg (Warwick, 25 August) Drifted from 7-2 to 7-1; finished 6th of 7 runners, beaten 11 lengths. Weakened 3f out.

Lilli Marlane (Ascot 26, September) Drifted from 3-1 to 4-1; finished 5th of 9 runners, beaten 3 1/2 lengths. Stayed on, too much to do

RICHARD EDMONDSON

Nap: Winners Delight

(Newmarket 8.00)

NB: Black Velvet

(Newbury 3.35)

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