Racing: Bradley's licence suspended

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The Independent Online
GRAHAM BRADLEY, the jockey charged with conspiracy to cheat, will not be allowed to ride again until he has cleared his name.

The Jockey Club yesterday suspended the 38-year-old's licence and took steps to restrict his access to certain areas on racecourses. Bradley, who said he was "very disappointed and very surprised" at the decision, will receive income support out of the Jockey Club's administration fund to offset the riding fees he will forfeit. He will be paid at the rate of about pounds 29,000 a year, which is the amount an injured jockey can claim from the Professional Riders' Insurance Scheme.

Bradley is accused of "pulling" Man Mood, making the horse lose, when he was an odds-on shot in a two-horse race at Warwick in November 1996. He was charged at Charing Cross police station in London on Monday and bailed the following day at Bow Street Magistrates' Court. Three Jockey Club stewards took the decision to suspend Bradley after interviewing the jockey at their Portman Square headquarters yesterday.

"This is a sad day, but it is the Jockey Club's responsibility to preserve the integrity of racing," Christopher Spence, the senior steward, said. "The stewards have not made a judgement on whether or not Graham Bradley is guilty of the charge laid against him, but have decided that in view of the nature and gravity of the charge it is inappopriate for a licensed jockey to continue race riding."

This is the same ruling the mandarins made after Jamie Osborne, Dean Gallagher and Leighton Aspell were investigated in an earlier part of race-fixing allegations. All were subsequently cleared.

The Jockey Club has already looked into the Man Mood race and decided there was no case to answer. This, however, counted for nothing yesterday as far as Bradley was concerned.

Bradley said: "I know that I'm totally innocent and I've done nothing wrong. I'm going to fight and fight for as long as it takes. I'm super confident that it will all be done as soon as possible."

Peter McCormick, Bradley's solicitor, said the stewards had acted with "indecent haste". "We have a justice system in this country that is still the envy of many in that you are innocent until proven guilty," he said. "By witholding Mr Bradley's licence and taking away his livelihood the Jockey Club have acted as judge and jury."

Racing, pages 26, 27