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Kelly
22 May 18 10:15
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Pause Switch to Standard View The Mullins vet story .
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Report mrcombustible June 10, 2018 8:33 PM BST
Not Mullins this time.

Vet Pius Collins from Limerick faces probe over bets placed on horses trained by David Pipe
John Mooney

June 10 2018, 12:01am, The Sunday Times

   



An Irish vet is under investigation by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) for allegedly obtaining and using inside information from a stableyard to place bets on horses to lose.

Pius Collins, from Athea in Co Limerick, is under suspicion for obtaining inside information on racehorses trained by David Pipe, son of Martin Pipe, one of the most successful jumps trainers in British racing history.

The BHA investigation is focusing on a series of suspicious bets, totalling thousands of euros, which Collins wagered on horses from Pond House, which is in the countryside near Wellington on the Devon-Somerset border. The bets were placed on Betfair, the online gambling exchange.

The nature of the online bets, placed in 2013, attracted the attention of Betfair’s compliance department, which regarded them as suspicious.

Betfair reported them to the BHA which commenced an investigation. An examination of Collins’s Betfair account established there were sufficient grounds to believe he had access to inside information.

The BHA inquiry is said to have identified a person whom they suspect provided information to Collins on the condition of various horses and their likely performance at race meetings over a protracted period of time. The BHA is satisfied that David Pipe had no involvement or knowledge of the matters under investigation.

Collins is due to appear before a BHA hearing later this summer, according to sources with knowledge of the affair. It is understood the vet will deny all wrongdoing and has instructed a firm of solicitors to defend any charges laid against him.

Collins is the second Irish vet to fall under suspicion for involvement in alleged betting irregularities in recent months. Tim Brennan, a vet from Kilkenny who works for the champion trainer Willie Mullins, was last month charged with passing inside information about an injury to the racehorse Faugheen before the Champion Hurdle in 2016. Mullins has no connection with the BHA investigation, which was first revealed by The Sunday Times.

The charges against Brennan followed a 27-month investigation by the BHA after suspicious bets totalling thousands of euros were laid on the horse not being fit to run at Cheltenham. It is alleged the bets were placed by Brennan’s brother Michael, who has already been banned from attending race meetings or associating with trainers by the BHA. The vet has denied the allegations made against him.

Betfair reports any incidents of betting irregularities to the BHA or the Turf Club, which regulates racing in Ireland. The gambling company has signed a “memorandum of understanding” with both the BHA and the Turf Club which allows it to supply personal details of customers whose betting activity might be a threat to the integrity of the sport.

The Sunday Times was unable to contact Collins despite numerous attempts.
Report mrcombustible June 17, 2018 12:14 PM BST
Bets probe vet Pius Collins from Limerick performed dope tests for Turf Club
John Mooney

June 17 2018, 12:01am, The Sunday Times

   

A Limerick vet under investigation for allegedly obtaining and using inside information from an English stableyard to place bets on horses was employed by the Turf Club to carry out antidoping tests at race meetings.

Pius Collins, from Athea, is the subject of an investigation by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) for obtaining inside information on racehorses trained by David Pipe, which he used to place wagers on Betfair, the online betting exchange.

Collins is alleged to have backed horses to lose at certain race meetings in 2013 after receiving confidential information from a source at Pond House, Pipe’s stableyard on the Devon-Somerset border.

According to sources in the veterinary profession, Collins carried out antidoping tests for the Turf Club at point-to-point meetings from 2010 to 2014. The club operates a programme whereby a panel of vets is used to take blood or urine samples from all winners to ensure they have not been given performance-enhancing steroids or stimulants beforehand.

It is understood the Turf Club, which regulates racing in Ireland, has now ended its relationship with Collins, who is a well-known figure in Munster’s horseracing circles. He is also involved in pony racing.

Collins is alleged to have placed bets on various horses to lose using the Betfair exchange. The wagers attracted the attention of the gambling company’s compliance team, who regarded them as highly suspicious. They were considered unusual because all of them concerned horses from Pipe’s yard losing races.

The BHA has since identified a man it suspects of providing Collins with the information on the condition of Pipe’s racehorses before race meetings. The authority is satisfied that Pipe was unaware of the activity and is a trainer of the utmost integrity, according to sources with knowledge of the affair.

The Turf Club is under pressure to step up its compliance operations to safeguard the integrity of Irish racing, because of unconnected allegations of doping and cheating on the racetrack.

The BHA is pursuing at least two cases involving equine vets from Ireland accused of using inside information to place bets. Separately there are also concerns that horses are being given performance-enhancing drugs and substances to bolster their appearance and stamina before bloodstock sales.

Collins declined to comment in detail when contacted by The Sunday Times yesterday.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. The BHA are entitled to think whatever they want.
I have nothing further to say to you,” he said.

Denis Egan, chief executive of the Turf Club, said he was unable to comment on any inquiry into Collins, but confirmed the Limerick vet no longer has any association with the racing authority.
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