Racing: Corruption inquiry expected to last for 10 days

A year of ordeal for racing gets underway today with the first in a series of corruption inquiries. Those facing charges from the Horseracing Regulatory Authority in connection with 37 races include Robert Winston and Robbie Fitzpatrick, as well as two former riders in Luke Fletcher and Fran Ferris, a former bookmaker and four other unlicensed individuals. The hearing is expected to last up to 10 days.

The sport was also reminded of the need for vigilance by the president of the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association at its annual dinner last night. Backing calls for greater integrity in the bloodstock market, Michael Goodbody admitted that he had witnessed "blatant cases and malpractice" during his career. "The whole system is so open to abuse that the sooner a standard code of practice is ratified internationally, the better," he said.

Even news of the death of Hallo Dandy, the 1984 Grand National winner, underlined that men sometimes find infamy in their dealings with horses.

Hallo Dandy lived to a fine age, 33, but only after being discovered in such a poor condition in 1994 that his rescuers feared he would not survive.

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