Racing: Bradley free to ride at Cheltenham today

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GRAHAM BRADLEY, who was charged on Tuesday with conspiracy to cheat by fixing the result of a race, said yesterday that he intends to carry on riding until the case comes to court. The jockey was speaking after an appearance at Bow Street Magistrates Court in London, where Bradley and five men charged in connection with alleged doping offences were granted bail after a 25-minute hearing and ordered to reappear on 9 June.

Bradley spoke only once during the course of the hearing, to confirm his name, age and address to the magistrate. Shortly afterwards, as he left the court accompanied by his girlfriend, Amanda Wilson, he said: "I will ride on and I'm looking forward to riding at Cheltenham tomorrow," before adding that he has "a date with the Jockey Club on Friday".

That meeting, at Portman Square, will determine what action, if any, the Club will take against Bradley following Tuesday's charge. The jockey stands accused of deliberately pulling up Man Mood, the 4-7 favourite for the Oliver Cromwell Handicap Chase at Warwick in November 1996. Bradley's mount was pulled up before the 12th fence, leaving Drumstick, his only opponent, to finish alone.

Bradley was accompanied to yesterday's hearing by Michael Caulfield, the executive manager of the Jockeys' Association. "Graham is bearing up very well," Caulfield said, "and I know that he wants to ride on."

Bradley has just one booked ride at Cheltenham today, Country Star in the 4.00 race.

There was inevitable speculation yesterday that the Jockey Club will suspend Bradley's licence before he leaves Portman Square tomorrow. The stewards face a difficult decision, however, since the jockey has simply been charged, and must be considered innocent until a court finds otherwise. Bradley is expected to be legally represented at tomorrow's meeting, while the Club will also consider the legal implications carefully before deciding whether to take any action.

The five other men who appeared at Bow Street yesterday were Ray Butler, Jason Moore, Glen Gill, John Matthews and Adam Hodgson. They were charged by police last month after a two-year investigation into the doping of two racehorses in early 1997.

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