Milczarek wins appeal against two-year ban
Kirsty Milczarek yesterday won her appeal against a two-year ban imposed in December, following a British Horseracing Authority investigation into an alleged betting conspiracy.
Those uncomfortable with the standard of proof then applied against the jockey can at least be comforted by this reiteration of the appeal board's independence. But its findings should perhaps caution the BHA against hasty conclusions, in cases where actual riding performance does not support a jockey's supposed involvement in any malpractice.
Two other riders were found by the original inquiry to have deliberately restrained their mounts. In Milczarek's case, however, she was assumed guilty of passing inside information for "payment" largely because of apparent inconsistencies in her evidence about telephone contacts with James Crickmore – one of two owners identified by the BHA as corrupt. After considering fresh contributions from Kieren Fallon, her partner at the time, the appeal board found that conclusion to be based on evidence of inadequate range and rigour.
The BHA's original hearing accepted that Milczarek had been injured leaving the starting stalls on Obe Gold, at Lingfield Park in August 2009, but took issue with her removal of the horse's blindfold.
Chris McGrath's Nap
Robemaker (5.10 Nottingham) Travels like one that will see out races at a higher level with maturity.
Jonny Mudball (2.40 Nottingham) Can make a fresh start after running a blinder on his reappearance last year.
One to watch
Praxios (Noel Wilson) Hinted at more on his second start since changing stable at Pontefract yesterday.
Where the money's going
Coral laid mudlark Giles Cross to 12-1 from 16-1 for the National.
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