Racing: Club may meet a wall of silence

Notable Basils, especially when it comes to flapping, are usually restricted to Lambourn and Torquay, but the village of Wellingore in Lincolnshire provided another yesterday.

Basil Richmond, the small-time trainer, was swiftly in touch with the Jockey Club from his yard after allegations that he had trained a horse to victory under Rules that had made its name on the unlicensed flapping fields of Scotland.

The sleuths of Portman Square are to investigate reports that Pretty Average, who won a ladies' selling handicap at Thirsk last month, was not just Pretty Average, but also Short And Sweet, the front-running leading light on the flapping circuit in Border country. The Jockey Club detectives will doubtlessly be impressed by the information that Pretty Average made all to win her race.

Before yesterday, the best horse Richmond had trained seemed to be Supreme Vista. It may be that he had another at Hall Stables with more victories to her name without even knowing. Ignorance was the theme of the message when the 59-year-old contacted racing's masters.

"I don't know anything about her flapping and if she has been then I've been duped," Richmond said. "All this about flapping is news to me and is obviously something I don't want to be associated with.''

The trainer will have to produce more than this. "We had a conversation with Mr Richmond this morning and we certainly wish to speak to him again, in person, in the future," John Maxse, of the Jockey Club, said.

Upturned palms under questioning were also available from Tommy Craig, the former trainer who supervised Pretty Average's two-year-old career before she left his Dunbar stable. "I haven't heard a word about her since she left the yard," he said. "I think she went back Lanarkshire way with her owner, but I don't remember much about her. I wasn't surprised to see her win because I thought she was capable of winning a race. But I did wonder where she'd been all that time.''

Among the questions (presumably) that will be directed at Richmond, is why his horse was backed down to 20-1 from an opening 50-1 at Thirsk. The good news for him is that allegations of this kind rarely come to anything, and there will be an offence only if connections were aware of the mare's previous history. "Knowing about it is important," David Pipe, of the Jockey Club, said. "It may be that the horse was bought with its passport and they never knew about it flapping.

"There have been allegations of flapping in the past but I can't remember a case where it has been proven - that people have known about it. Obviously, if someone knew a horse had been flapping and then brought it back to race it's a very serious offence.''

The horse called Short And Sweet last ran officially at the beginning of July when capturing a six-furlong flapping event at Hawick. If investigators from Portman Square plan to travel to a bed and breakfast in the Borders it seems they will get the coldest room and a similar reception.

This form of racing has been organised in this Scottish town since the 16th century. Those who promote the meetings (attracting four-figure crowds) are suspicious of both those over the border and men at the helm of a different code.

Les Dodds, of the Hawick Horseracing Association, did not suggest the bunting was being prepared when he admitted that his body would not necessarily co-operate with any inquiry. "They refuse to recognise us in any way," he said yesterday, "so I don't think we will be helping them at all.''

i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower