Two owners banned from all tracks for 10 years

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Two owners, Patricia Hamilton and Jim McDonald, were yesterday warned off for 10 years each by the Jockey Club for their involvement with Pretty Average, a winner last year at Thirsk, who was found to have run in unlicensed races under the name of Short'n Sweet.

The pair admitted that they were in breach of the rules concerning misleading racecourse stewards and those covering involvement with flapping horses.

Pretty Average was a well-backed 20-1 winner of a selling handicap on 29 July last year for trainer Basil Richmond, who was cleared of any breach of the rules prior to the inquiry.

An involvement with flappers usually carries a penalty of disqualification from ownership for 12 months. But the Jockey Club's director of public affairs, David Pipe, said: "The stewards viewed this as an extremely serious offence."