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Ballydoyle riders escape suspension for laying horses

Exercise riders Kaname Tsuge and Gosuke Motoki found to have bet against O’Brien’s horses over a three-year period.

TWO JAPANESE RIDERS at Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle stables have escaped with fines after they told a hearing that they did not know that they were breaking rules by laying the stable’s horses to lose.

In only the second case of its type to be heard by the Turf Club, Kaname Tsuge and Gosuke Motoki were found yesterday to have breached Rule 273 by betting against a combined 95 Ballydoyle horses between 2007 and 2010.

Described by O’Brien as “absolutely honest and conscientious” employees, the two exercise riders maintained that they were unaware of the rules, citing a language barrier as part of their defence.

It was only in December 2010, when a note informing them of the offence was attached to their payslips, that they realised their mistake, they said.

Over the three-year period, the pair had individually bet against some of O’Brien’s most high-profile runners, including Jan Vermeer in last year’s 2000 Guineas and Fame and Glory in the 2010 Irish Champion Stakes.

After examining the account records supplied by Betfair, however, the hearing found no evidence that the riders were trying to profit from inside information but were simply “gambling.”

In light of the mitigating circumstances, the committee chose not to disqualify the two riders, hitting them instead with a €2000 fine each and ordering both to pay costs of €350.

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Niall Kelly

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