Hayley Turner suspended three months for breaking BHA betting rules

first_imgHayley Turner described herself as living two lives, one as a broadcaster who could bet when she pleased and one as an occasional jockey who could not, as she sought to explain how she had come to breach racing’s strict rules that bar jockeys from betting. A disciplinary panel said it would not “reject that explanation out of hand” but still felt it necessary to suspend her from riding for three months.While Turner described the outcome as “a bitter pill to swallow”, she may also have felt a modicum of relief. The entry-point punishment for a breach of this rule is an 18-month period of disqualification from the sport, meaning the jockey in question would be banned from all racecourses and racing stables and from discussing the sport with licensed professionals.For someone with a nascent broadcasting career, that would have been a disastrous outcome. Turner’s solicitor, Rory Mac Neice, said such a ban could only be justified “when the sport’s integrity has been threatened” and insisted there was no such threat here, which the panel eventually accepted.However, while Mac Neice argued for a fine, the panel insisted on a short suspension of Turner’s riding career, though she will not otherwise be restricted and can continue with her broadcasting work from the races. The panel said she was guilty of “a lax and complacent attitude to the rules of racing and a lack of awareness of the potential damage to racing posed by a jockey regularly betting while riding in races”.Turner opened a betting account with Paddy Power in December 2015, one month after her well-publicised retirement. But she fell into a trap of her own making by reapplying for a licence the following year in order to ride in invitation events, while continuing to bet. More recently, she has taken rides in France to take advantage of the weight allowance offered to all female jockeys there. Share on WhatsApp Read more Reuse this content The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage news Share on Facebook Since you’re here… Support The Guardian Topics Read more … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. 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Thank you.center_img British Horseracing Authority Horse racing Hayley Turner Share on Twitter Share via Email In total, she placed 164 bets until August, when Paddy Power notified the British Horseracing Authority they believed she was breaching the rules. She made a net profit of £160.Explaining the circumstances in which she would bet through an app on her phone, Turner said: “You’re just stood around doing eight races from Chelmsford with Bob Cooper [on At The Races]. ‘We’ll have a fiver on this one …’ It’s all Bob’s fault!“When I was actively riding, I would never have a bet. I respected the rules for 15 years when I have been riding. But then when I’ve been doing the media and retired, in my head I’m not a jockey, so therefore it’s OK to have a bet. And they’re small bets, £5 here, £10 there. There’s nothing serious. I’ve never had a bet on my own horse, I’ve never had a bet in a race that I’m riding in, or even near a time that I’m riding. As soon as I knew I was riding, that’d be it, I wouldn’t.“I’m a bit disappointed. Three months is a quarter of a year not earning any money and the BHA have said I’m not a threat to the integrity of the sport. It’s hard to understand, to be honest.”It may have counted against Turner that some of her bets, in July 2016, were placed within hours of being told by the BHA she had been granted a renewed jockeys’ licence, and again over the following two days. The BHA’s Tim Naylor suggested to the panel that she had no excuse for not being aware of her responsibilities to the sport at such a time.However, Naylor said: “There are certainly no integrity issues in relation to Miss Turner’s betting.” He said her bets had all been on horses to win and there was no discernible pattern as to the trainers or jockeys who carried her money.Turner said she hopes to return to the saddle when her ban expires in March and will continue with her media work in the meantime. She will not bet again until she is finally, definitively finished with race-riding.“I feel like I’ve been riding quite well, I’m having plenty of winners and more importantly I’ve been enjoying it again, which I stopped doing before and that’s why I retired in the first place,” she said. “I’m just going to have to watch my weight for three months now, aren’t I? I’m 34 but I’m still learning. It’s tough but I can’t moan too much, really.”Tips for Friday racesDoncaster 11.50 Kilronan Castle 12.25 Don Lami 1.00 Stowaway Magic 1.35 Clondaw Kaempfer 2.10 Alvarado 2.45 Manny Owens 3.20 Big Penny Bangor 12.00 Champagne James 12.35 Knocknamona 1.10 Forest Des Aigles 1.45 Waterlord 2.20 Tawseef 2.55 Virginia Chick 3.30 Ofcourseiwill Cheltenham 12.10 Western Ryder 12.45 Sizing Tennessee 1.20 Okotoks 1.55 Song Saa 2.30 Mysteree (nb) 3.05 Cantlow 3.40 Arthur’s Gift (nap) Chelmsford 5.45 Ertidaad 6.15 Trick Shot Jenny 6.45 Dance Me 7.15 Knight Errant 7.45 Bahamian Heights 8.15 Stylish Dancer 8.45 Pass The Cristal Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Melon looks tasty for Cheltenham return as thaw enables resumption Share on Messengerlast_img read more