Paul Gilligan disqualified from racing for six months
Co Galway trainer ruled out of all racing activities for six months
Paul Gilligan. Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Co Galway trainer Paul Gilligan has been disqualified for six months by the British Horseracing Authority after he was judged to have deliberately run a horse that had previously raced in an unrecognised ‘flapper’ meeting in Ireland.
Monday’s verdict in an independent disciplinary rehearing at BHA headquarters in London is the same as Gilligan - who is based near Athenry - received at an original hearing in March but which was subsequently thrown out due to an appearance of bias involving the panel chairman Matthew Lohn.
The revelation that Lohn, a solicitor, had undertaken paid work for the BHA also resulted in a rehearing of the case involving English trainer Jim Best last week when he was suspended for six months after being found to have ordered jockey Paul John to stop two horses.
Gilligan’s rehearing has resulted in him being disqualified, a more severe punishment than Best’s suspension, as it rules him out of all racing activities. It is expected the penalty will be reciprocated by the Turf Club.
The Grade 1 winning Irish trainer, who saddled a Cheltenham festival winner in 2010, was found guilty of running Dubawi Phantom at Uttoxeter in June of 2014. The horse won under the current champion jockey Richard Johnson.
However, the independent panel decided Dubawi Phantom had run at a Dingle pony race meeting in 2013 under the name ‘Ayres Rock.’ Racehorses are not allowed run at meetings commonly known as ‘flaps’. Dubawi Phantom has been disqualified from first place in the Uttoxeter race.
After Dubawi Phantom ran at Uttoxeter, he was prevented from running at the 2014 Galway festival by Turf Club officials which led to an investigation being carried out. Photographic evidence featured in that investigation and led to the conclusion that Dubawi Phantom and ‘Ayres Rock’ were the same horse.