Six-month ban for dejected Findlay

CRESTFALLEN owner Harry Findlay has vowed to lodge an appeal after being warned off for six months in connection with laying his own horse, Gullible Gordon, on two occasions.

Findlay, who joint-owns 2008 Gold Cup winner Denman, was found guilty of the offence by a British Horseracing Authority disciplinary panel. He was charged by the BHA last month and told of the news yesterday morning.

Horses registered in his mother's name, Margaret Findlay, are also unable to race while she remains owner or part-owner during her son's disqualification period. Findlay's disqualification period begins today. The outspoken professional gambler insists he will contest the decision, but claims his days of owning racehorses in Britain are now over.

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A visibly shaken Findlay said: "I'm not going to shout and scream at anyone – I'm a heartbroken man. I've admitted my guilt and I couldn't be more expressive about it. The rules are now much stricter and any ban should be 18 months. I thank the panel for deliberating as long as they could to give me as shorter term as they could. I will obviously appeal it, I doubt if I will win the appeal. Win or lose the appeal, I will never own horses in Britain again."

Back bets had been placed both times on the Paul Nicholls-trained Gullible Gordon that significantly outweighed the lay bets.

The first charge made against Findlay revolves around the seven-year-old's participation in a race at Exeter on 21 October, 2008. If Gullible Gordon, who finished sixth, had won, the profit would have been 23,755.60. The loss was therefore 62,321.26. The second charge related to a race at Chepstow on 10 October, 2009. If Gullible Gordon had been defeated, the loss would have been 31,966.33. He won the race, so the profit was 35,245.30.

The BHA accepts there was no corrupt motive behind Findlay's actions but insists he is technically in breach of the rules which must be enforced.

The owner added: "The first race at Exeter I made a technical error and pressed the wrong button. The second one, we had a big bet before the race and as a gambler I called my friend Glenn (Gill) from Chepstow and had a big bet on Gullible Gordon and he had a bit more on and laid it in running.

"He's a front-runner and a bit of a character. We were certainly wrong to do so. When the BHA top-class investigators came down we had a bit of a joke about it.

"It was myself who went to the BHA and said these horses are actually owned by my mother and to all intents and purposes for gambling they are my own. I said they were quite welcome to use my account, I gave them my password to check my bets every day.

"I did not check the rules and the serious trouble I was in was my own fault and I certainly don't blame the panel."