Racing: 10-year ban on former trainer

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The Independent Online
DERMOT BROWNE, a former champion amateur jump jockey, was 'warned off' for 10 years by the Jockey Club yesterday after being found guilty of selling information to a bookmaker.

The punishment, which comes at the end of a two-year investigation, means the Irishman can no longer ride or train a horse, or go to a racecourse. He is effectively banned from having any involvement with the sport that has dominated his life.

Browne, who is 31 tomorrow, was cleared of the most serious charge against him, that he had committed an offence relating to the horses Norwich and Bravefoot, colts who were doped before their races at Doncaster two years ago. Browne, who was pursuing his short career as a trainer at the time, was questioned by police investigating the dopings but charged only with lesser matters.

The disciplinary committee of the Jockey Club did find Browne guilty of selling information to David Aarons, a Yorkshire bookmaker, about the horses Silken Sailed, Argentum and Family At War. All three were beaten. A charge that Aarons had also been provided with information that Norwich and Bravefoot had been doped and were unlikely to win was dropped.

Browne did not comment as he left Portman Square, but, in a statement, his solicitor, William Egan, said: 'Mr Browne welcomes the decision of the disciplinary committee of the Jockey Club in respect of the most serious charge against him. He nonetheless insists upon his innocence in respect of those matters where the committee found against him. Serious consideration is being given to legal proceedings in the civil courts to reverse those decisions.'

Other decisions to go against Browne concerned the horses Dashing Prince and Total Sport. The former finished fourth at Leicester in 1990 and Browne was found guilty of giving instructions to John Aspell, the colt's jockey, that prevented the horse getting its best possible placing. He was further convicted of vaccination charges regarding Total Sport.

Browne, the son of the Classic- winning Curragh trainer Liam Browne, had made his name in racing thanks to his riding association with the outstanding hurdler, Browne's Gazette, and also his part in the Cheltenham Gold Cup of 1983, when he partnered Ashley House, one of the first five home saddled by the Yorkshire trainer, Michael Dickinson. After yesterday's judgements, his place in the sport's history will be less auspicious.

Britain's challenge for the Breeders' Cup, the world's richest race, nearly came to a calamitous end yesterday when a DC8 flight carrying 18 horses out of Stansted struck a severe tropical storm three hours away from Fort Lauderdale airport. Report, page 29