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Berry denies 'cheat' charge

Raehorse trainer Alan Berry and his farrier yesterday denied trying to cheat by putting a horse in a race when she was lame or unfit.

Berry, 44, and blacksmith Steven O'Sullivan, 36, pleaded not guilty at the Old Bailey to a charge involving the filly Hillside Girl, who was entered for a race at Carlisle on 15 June, 2003.

They were accused of conspiring to defraud the users of the Betfair exchange and other punters by entering the horse in the race, agreeing not to disclose she was lame or unfit and laying bets on her to lose.

Berry, of Moss Side Racing Stables, Cockerham, Lancashire, and O'Sullivan, of Lancaster Road, Preston, Lancs, were remanded on unconditional bail.

Old Bailey judge Mr Justice Forbes said he expected to hold their trial early in the New Year.