HRI says racing has no money laundering issues

Ascot Gold Cup winner Order Of St George set to make his return to action at Navan

Aidan O’Brien has six of the 15 entries left in the Listed Salsabil Stakes on Sunday, a race acknowledged as a trial for the Epsom Oaks. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Aidan O’Brien has six of the 15 entries left in the Listed Salsabil Stakes on Sunday, a race acknowledged as a trial for the Epsom Oaks. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

Irish racing’s ruling body has said it doesn’t believe there is an issue with the sport being used to launder money from the proceeds of crime.

Reports that the Criminal Assets Bureau are investigating a gang suspected of laundering profits from criminal activity through the purchase of racehorses included the suggestion that one member of that gang part-owned a recent Grade One winner over jumps.

Horse Racing Ireland has said it has been told by Gardai that others involved in the ownership of the horse, and those involved in its purchase and training, were unaware of any possible criminal link.

HRI’s chief executive Brian Kavanagh also dismissed any suggestion the sport might be especially vulnerable to those wishing to turn cash into assets.

“If the question is does racing have an issue, then I don’t believe it does, certainly not through HRI or horse ownership. I’m not aware of it happening to any extent at all,” he said.

“It’s not a significant concern that we have. These issues are matters for the guards and these are matters that come up in a number of different businesses.

“It’s not directly involving us [HRI] but from what I understand everyone involved has been co-operative and of course everyone is going to assist the guards whatever way they can,” he added.

Significant concern

The registration of owners in Irish racing is controlled by HRI and Kavanagh said: “Obviously you’ll always look at things, and particular cases, after the event to see if things could be changed or done differently but it’s not a significant concern.”

In racing news, the Ascot Gold Cup winner Order Of St George appears set to make his return to action this season in Sunday’s Group Three Coolmore Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan.

Order Of St George dominates a list of ten entries left in the race after the five-day stage.

The 2015 dual-St Leger hero finished up last season running down the field on British Champions Day at Ascot but prior to that had bounced back from a shock Irish Leger defeat to finish third to Found in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Order Of St George is currently a clear 5-2 favourite to retain his Gold Cup crown in June.

His trainer Aidan O’Brien has six of the 15 entries left in the Listed Salsabil Stakes on Sunday, a race acknowledged as a trial for the Epsom Oaks. The Ballydoyle possibles include the Dundalk winner Asking.

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