Racing: Kelleway fined £4,500 for selling information

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The Independent Online

It has been a word seldom used at the Jockey Club in recent weeks after the dramatic acquittals of Sean Fox and those involved in the Hillside Girl case, but yesterday Gay Kelleway, the Newmarket trainer, did not escape. They might not have even have used the word, but Portman Square will certainly have felt the sentiment behind "gotcha".

Kelleway was fined £4,500 for her involvement with Touchbetting, an internet tipping firm. Her association with the company was judged to be prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct or good reputation of horseracing and she admitted misleading a Jockey Club officer who was carrying out an investigation.

It is a setback for Kelleway, who has built up a string of 40 horses from a starting point of six at Charnwood Stables since returning from a spell in Dubai.

But at least she did not make the mistake of selling herself short at Touchbetting. Kelleway's three advertised services were bronze, silver and gold and even the cheapest required an annual outlay of £10,000. Clients opting for the gold service enjoyed the privilege of personal contact with the trainer and information about all her horses (the owners' view of this arrangement has yet to emerge). This "select service", averaging three bets per month, came at a select price of £35,000 per year.

"The panel found that she allowed her name to be used without finding out more about the venture," John Maxse, for the Jockey Club, said. "When interviewed by an investigating officer on this potentially grave matter, she failed to take it seriously and gave misleading and, in some cases, sarcastic replies."

Kelleway said: "I feel very let down by the Jockey Club and consider I have been unfairly treated. I shall take time with my legal advisors in considering an appeal."

It was a second restorative for the Jockey Club after Graham Bradley's appeal against a five-year disqualification was thrown out by one of Britain's top judges on Friday. Mr Justice Richards' rejection of a stay of execution means Bradley's ban is now in effect and it is an offence for people bound by the rules of racing to associate with him. The ruling also had a binding effect at Portman Square.

"We were very encouraged," Maxse said. "A lot of cases are becoming more complicated, with a higher degree of legal representation, such as today's case, which might have seemed quite simple, but involved a barrister and discussion about Article Six on the European Convention on Human Rights.

"Little seems straightforward these days, so to get the support from the judge at the end of the Bradley case was encouraging. It will give our panels the confidence to deliver the proper penalties where appropriate."

There are two further spokes coming up in the wheel of justice. Kieren Fallon, who is a recurring theme at the Jockey Club, reports on police bail on a charge of race-fixing at the beginning of next month and, at around the same time, will appear before the Jockey Club on a further count of bringing racing into disrepute at the time of the Ballinger Ridge affair.

In addition, while the Hillside Girl case may be limp it is not yet dead. Two of the players, amateur rider Dale Jewett and farrier Steve O'Sullivan, face being warned off if found guilty of "corrupt or fraudulent practice" over their use of privileged information for betting purposes.

* Tomorrow's card at Salisbury depends on an 8am inspection today. The course is waterlogged.

* Frankie Dettori notched a treble and Kieren Fallon a double at Wolverhampton yesterday.