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Talking Horses: Tom Morgan could face 10-year ban over betting charges – The Guardian

The former jockey has been charged under the British Horseracing Authority’s anti-corruption rules
Tom Morgan, who shared the Irish jump jockeys’ title in 1986 and rode Yahoo to finish second to Desert Orchid in the 1989 Cheltenham Gold Cup, will face charges under the British Horseracing Authority’s anti-corruption rules at a disciplinary inquiry on Thursday which could lead to a ban from the sport of up to 10 years.
Morgan was a familiar figure in the winner’s enclosure in both Ireland and Britain in the 1980s. He was joint‑champion over jumps in Ireland with Frank Berry in 1986 and subsequently moved to England, where he enjoyed a successful association with the trainer John Edwards.
In addition to his close second on Edwards’s Yahoo in the Gold Cup, he was successful on Pearlyman in the 1988 Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham’s Festival meeting, and Dixton House in the Ritz Club National Hunt Handicap Chase at the same meeting a year later. He was the leading jockey at the 1989 Festival and retired from the saddle in 1991.
Morgan appeared at a BHA disciplinary hearing three years ago as an expert witness, giving evidence on behalf of the trainer Jim Best, who subsequently received a six-month ban for non-trier offences.
The charges against Morgan relate to two distinct periods after his retirement from race riding – 1 November 2005 to 19 December 2008 and 16 September 2013 to 28 October 2016 – when the BHA alleges that he laid (accepted bets on) horses “under the care of a licensed trainer for whom he was a registered stable employee”.
The maximum penalty for the offences in both time periods is a 10-year ban, while the “entry point” penalties for a breach of the rules in the two periods in question is six months and 18 months, reflecting a tightening of the rules in the intervening years.
The notice of Wednesday’s hearing issued by the BHA yesterday did not include any detail about the stables where Morgan was working at the time of his alleged offences. He told the Best inquiry that he had given up race-riding because of problems with his weight, and that he had subsequently been employed as a horsebox driver and a salesman of gallop products.
Only three horses have won a five-furlong handicap in Britain by seven lengths or more since the start of 2017, and the first two were beaten favourites on their next trip to the track. The third is Prestbury Park (6.15), who goes at Wolverhampton under a 5lb penalty having bolted up by seven lengths at Pontefract last week, and it is a slight surprise to find him available at odds-against at around 6-5.
Last week’s win for Prestbury Park snapped a 24-race losing streak dating back to August 2017, when he was trained by Mark Johnston. His opening mark in nurseries two years ago was 90 but he was down to 72 when he joined Paul Midgley at the start of this season – having had a wind op over the winter – and rated 65 for his win last time. That performance is very much backed up by the clock and anything close to that level should be good enough this evening.
The afternoon schedule is looking a little light after the final meeting of the year at Salisbury was washed away by rain earlier in the week, but Seprani (3.50) can finally get off the mark for the year at Lingfield having finished runner-up five times already. Hexagon (2.10) should also go well in the nursery earlier on the card, while Two Hearts (6.00) and Air Force Amy (7.00) both have solid chances at Chelmsford City.
Greg Wood’s tips
1.40 Kendergarten Kop 2.10 Hexagon 2.45 Sheriffmuir 3.15 Amaan 3.50 Seprani (nb) 4.20 On Route 4.55 Imperium
Golden Taipan 2.35 Flinck 3.05 Ballymoy 3.40 Mister Universum 4.10 Chasma 4.45 Sid Hoodie 5.20 Thais Toir

5.10 Queenoftheclyde 5.45 Spirited Guest 6.15 Prestbury Park (nap) 6.45 Twin Appeal 7.15 About Glory 7.45 Elena 8.15 Poetic Legacy
Chelmsford City

5.30 Predictable 6.00 Two Hearts 6.30 South Coast 7.00 Air Force Amy 7.30 Michele Strogoff 8.00 Gottardo 8.30 Broughton Excels  


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