Syndicate 'sought to confront Fallon'

BRITAIN: A former Dublin furniture shop owner, Daniel Kinahan, travelled from Spain to Newmarket to confront jockey Kieren Fallon…

BRITAIN:A former Dublin furniture shop owner, Daniel Kinahan, travelled from Spain to Newmarket to confront jockey Kieren Fallon in his own home "in the very early hours" days after his "bet to lose" syndicate lost £160,256 (€231,300) because he won his race.

It was one of several races the syndicate expected Fallon to throw but which he went on to win, the Old Bailey heard.

The horse, Russian Rhythm, was from the stables of Queen Elizabeth's favourite trainer Sir Michael Stoute, and ran in the 2.40pm Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 15th, 2004.

The jury heard one of the alleged organisers of the so-called "bet to lose" conspiracy, Yorkshire businessmen Miles Rodgers, refer to the Spain-based Irish businessman Daniel Kinahan in intercepted phone calls as a formidable character called "D".


Mr Rodgers was heard on the intercept telling a person, whose account he has been using to lay bets to lose on online bookmakers Betfair, that while he had met many "menacing" people in the course of his business, they paled beside "D".

He said he was "only a little fella, but you know when you've been spoken to".

It was this person who was losing patience with Kieren Fallon winning races which the syndicate had been led to believe he would lose, Mr Rodgers said.

Prosecutor Jonathan Caplan QC told the jury of seven women and five men that the fact that Mr Fallon won races his co-conspirators expected him to lose merely showed he was being cautious as he clearly suspected he was under investigation.

Even in those races which he appeared to lose legitimately, evidence of contacts between Mr Fallon and his co-accused suggested that he had been prepared to stop a horse winning had it been necessary, said Mr Caplan.

Spanish-based Mr Kinahan, who is not named in the indictment, was described as a former Dublin furniture shop owner and one-time employer of Philip Sherkle - the man chosen as a go-between with Mr Fallon, replacing co-accused Shaun Lynch - after Mr Fallon was deemed to have won one race too many, and cost them too much.

The jury also heard Mr Rodgers discuss Mr Fallon's alleged losses to the syndicate with Mr Sherkle: "your friend asked how much he is in debt to the other guy [in Spain]. It is about four and a half ".

Mr Fallon's wins when he was expected to lose - and the perceived trouble in which he consequently found himself with the Spanish end of the conspiracy - prompted Mr Rodgers to say: "I just think he's thick, you know."

The jury heard Mr Rodgers say of Mr Fallon, in further intercepted conversation, that while the jockey should know more about horse racing than they would ever know, that "he's not dealing with a full stack".

The court heard how on May 26th, 2004, Daniel Kinahan arrived by air at Leeds/Bradford airport to be met by Mr Sherkle where they went to Harrogate and on to the Bedford Lodge hotel in Newmarket where they checked in under false names.

At 1am Mr Kinahan, Mr Sherkle, Miles Rodgers and Shaun Lynch drove out to confront Kieren Fallon at his family home, only to turn back when they noticed they were under surveillance. They checked out of the hotel at 2am.

Mr Caplan told the jury this behaviour was "mysterious and suspicious".

The court also heard how an easyJet return flight to Spain for August 4th, 2004, was purchased by jockey Fergal Lynch using his Visa Delta card.

Mr Fallon was a "no show" for the flight - Mr Rodgers, Lynch and two others did fly out - although a ticket confirmation for his flight was subsequently found by police in the glove compartment of Mr Fallon's car.

The jury was also given details of a series of texts between Kieren Fallon and Philip Sherkle on two specially-purchased "pay as you go" mobile phones recovered from both men during the investigation.

The texts came after the syndicate lost £105,078 betting on Fallon to lose on Daring Aim at Newmarket on July 23rd, 2004. The horse, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, was owned by Queen Elizabeth.

Mr Sherkle texted Fallon: "If u don't speak to me now I won't be able to help you". Fallon replied: "They will take my licences off me if they drift like that last night. They are watching me."