The British Horseracing Authority has charged a veterinary surgeon who works for champion trainer Willie Mullins with passing on inside information. He has been called to appear before a BHA disciplinary hearing in July.
Tim Brennan is accused of informing his brother about an injury to Faugheen shortly before information became public that the hot favourite for the 2016 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham would miss the race.
Michael Brennan is alleged to have subsequently placed 'lay' bets against the horse in betting markets with liabilities of several thousand euro. He refused to cooperate with a BHA investigation and was declared a disqualified person from the sport in October of 2016.
If found guilty of breaking BHA rules relating to commissioning or conspiring in corrupt or fraudulent practises Tim Brennan could be banned from racecourses and licensed premises.
Mullins is not involved in the case and the BHA has said there is no suggestion he or staff members at his Co Carlow stables were aware of Tim Brennan’s alleged actions. Mullins was unavailable for comment on Monday.
Last year Brennan pleaded guilty to possession of unauthorised medicines following the discovery of unlicensed substances in his van at Mullins’s yard. No conviction was recorded against him after it was judged the offences were “purely regulatory.”
Faugheen had been an odds on favourite for the 2016 Champion Hurdle until Mullins revealed he had suffered a ligament injury and would miss the rest of that season. Prior to Mullins’s announcement Faugheen’s price on betting exchanges drifted to odds against.
Later that year the BHA revealed it was investigating suspicious betting patterns surrounding the withdrawal of the horse. The BHA disciplinary hearing is due to be heard on July 16th and 17th.