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Top racing names guilty of corruption- 24 Oct 2008 00:00:00

Horse racing has been rocked by the news that jockey Dean McKeown and trainer Paul Blockley, among others, have been found guilty of corruption and temporarily banned from the sport.

A panel concluded that they breached the regulations of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) by conspiring with others to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice.

Blockley was also found guilty of failing to give proper instructions to McKeown to ride a horse on its merits. The former has been banned for 30 months while the jockey received harsher, four-year ban.

The two had denied the charges after being accused of involvement with the laying of horses to lose in races in 2004 and ’05. The bets in question totaled £182,541, but in fact, the overall profit was £61,909.

A 30-year veteran of the sport, McKeown has won many prestigious races, including the Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket three times, Ebor Handicap in 2002 and the Chester Cup in 2003.

Blockley has had a successful career as well, with victories at the Brocklesby Stakes and the Great St Wilfred Stakes.

Several others were also found to have breached BHA rules by the panel and penalised.

Owner Derek Lovatt was fined £20,000 and Martyn Wakefield was banned 18 months. Vincent Whiting is prohibited from the sport for four years, former owner Marcus Reeder, 18 months, David Wright six years, and Nicholas Rook, four years, all for breaching the same rule.

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