This, from our correspondent in Ireland.
By the way, no matter where you are reading this, from any country in the world that stages horse racing, I want to hear from you. If you have information, I’ll get it online. Just email me or send me a comment and I’ll get back to you.
Now, to the matter at hand: The John O’Gorman case.
The Irish Turf Club will shortly get a second chance, having blown the first, to show that it is serious about fighting corruption in racing. The omens, however, are poor; indeed, the club can fairly be described as a laughing stock, thanks to its handling of the O’Gorman case.
O’Gorman, who works as a stable boy at the County Limerick yard of Charles Byrnes, was last week found to have layed bets through Betfair on nine runners from the stable during 2008.
Happily, he made a very large net loss because the horse against which he risked the largest sum managed to win. But that hardly justifies the astonishingly lenient sentence he was given, a four-month ban from attending racecourses in Ireland.
Byrnes has expressed his regret that O’Gorman “got involved in such a thing”. But he does not, apparently, view such corruption as a firing offense and has now applied to the ITC to be allowed to continue employing O’Gorman.
The answer can only be a foreful “no”.
Otherwise, the ITC will have exposed the sport to the risk of endless similar cases. What is to deter any stable worker from using inside information to make a quick profit, knowing that, even if caught, they will face nothing worse than a short ban from going to the track? They may not go racing much in any case.
We’ll keep track of what happens.
Thanks to our correspondent in Ireland for this item.