Racing: Osborne in clear over race-fixing

JAMIE OSBORNE became the second National Hunt jockey to be released from police investigations into race-fixing and doping allegations yesterday. The discharge from scrutiny by Scotland Yard's Organised Crime Group ended nine months of torment for one of winter racing's most charismatic riders.

Osborne, the highest profile jockey apprehended when police began swoops in January which collected 10 people, will now resume a career which has been dogged by injury during the course of his bail.

The Metropolitan Police last night informed the Jockey Club that Osborne had been released without charge. Their report to the Crown Prosecution Service should now be nothing more than a rubber-stamping exercise, though Osborne will not be easing the cork out of the bottle until the folder is closed. Nevertheless, he welcomed yesterday's opportunity to speak to officers and learn of his imminent discharge. Osborne now joins Leighton Aspell as a rider exonerated.

"The outcome of the meeting today appears to be favourable, but there is still a process that has to be conducted before my release is official," the jockey said last night. "Relief is not really the right word for how I'm feeling because I knew this would always happen eventually. It's good news that at long last I've had the chance to answer questions, which I've been wanting to do since January."

Christopher Spence, the senior steward of the Jockey Club, added: "The Jockey Club welcomes the decision that Jamie Osborne has not been charged and, in the interests of Jamie Osborne, his family and racing, we hope that the Crown Prosecution Service will reach an early conclusion to bring the unfortunate matter to an end."

With that barrier removed, Osborne is now free to review competitive action as soon as he feels a shattered wrist, the legacy of a racecourse accident last October, will stand the test. "I'm riding out every day, I'm schooling and I'm in the gym," he said. "I'm getting myself fit, I'm getting my hand stronger and I'm confident of resuming before the end of the month. I'm confident that I'm soon going to be back on a racecourse."

Dean Gallagher, the third jockey arrested, is due to report at Charing Cross police station today. "I am delighted for Jamie," he said last night. "He was released today, I hope I will be released tomorrow."

Queen's trainer quits, page 5

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