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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 July, 2005, 16:06 GMT 17:06 UK
Court rejects Bradley ban appeal
Graham Bradley
Former jump jockey Graham Bradley has lost his appeal against a five-year ban from horse racing.

Bradley had already lost a High Court challenge to the ban last October.

And now the Court of Appeal has thrown out his claim that the length of the disqualification order was "excessive interference" in his right to work.

The 45-year-old, who said the verdict was "very disappointing", must now pay the Jockey Club's 26,000 legal costs.

That amount will be added to the costs of the High Court hearing, making a total estimated at more than 100,000.

Bradley has not ruled out pursuing his case further.

"The next step would the European Court Of Human Rights, and that would be another two or three years down the line and another six-figure sum," he said.

"I have fought all along for myself and my right to earn a living, and while going down that route would mean selling the house, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that I will.

"This is going back to the dark ages. I really cannot believe that the legal system can treat anybody like this."

He added: "I fully understand that the integrity of racing is paramount and that the Jockey Club have a hard job to do, but they have overreacted in my case."

Jockey Club spokesman Owen Byrne said he was "very pleased" with the court's decision.

He added: "We hope this brings an end to the matter, but also remind licensed people - jockeys and trainers - that it is a breach of the rules of racing to be associated with Graham Bradley."

The Jockey Club imposed the ban after Bradley, who lives in Oxfordshire, admitted receiving presents in return for privileged racing information.

Bradley's admission came in September 2001 during evidence he gave at the trial of a friend who was later acquitted of drugs charges.

Ian Glen QC, representing Bradley, told the Court of Appeal on Tuesday: "The effect of the ban on his proposed career as a bloodstock agent will be even longer than five years because the prospect of starting up again is uncertain to say the least."

He added: "We accept that the appeal board was entitled to view Mr Bradley's misconduct as serious, and as meriting in principle a period of disqualification.

"However, it is important to make a fair assessment of his misconduct."

He said the information given by Bradley, from Wantage, never had any impact on the result of the races and he believed that the passing of information was common practice among jockeys.

But Master of the Rolls Lord Phillips, one of the three judges hearing the case, described the appeal as "hopeless".

He said the court only had a "supervisory jurisdiction" over the Jockey Club and it was not for judges to put their own views in place of those of the club when assessing Bradley's behaviour.

Under the terms of the ban, Bradley must not enter any racecourse or deal in any capacity with a racehorse.

The Yorkshireman retired in 199 after a 17-year career as a jump jockey which included victory in the 1983 Cheltenham Gold Cup on Bregawn.

Other triumphs included the King George VI Chase in 1985 on Wayward Lad - the name of the horse was later used as the title for his autobiography.




SEE ALSO
Bradley loses appeal
01 Oct 04 |  Horse Racing


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