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mrcombustible
28 Nov 21 11:12
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Date Joined: 18 Feb 02
| Topic/replies: 3,417 | Blogger: mrcombustible's blog
The story begins on a September afternoon at Southwell racecourse in Nottinghamshire five years ago. Sulamani The Late is having his third race. Tony Holt and Ian Macnabb, two of the gelding’s five owners, watch from the enclosure. Even in a sport in which dreams are one race away from disappointment, Sulamani The Late’s performance is lamentable.

There are four runners in the novice hurdle. Three of them are keen to race. Sulamani The Late is the odd one out. As the starter springs the tape upwards, Sulamani **** his head and fixes his front feet. Though his jockey, David England, tries, the horse’s mind is made up. Not today, sunshine. They never get to jump the first hurdle.

For the horse’s up-and-coming trainer, Dan Skelton, it is frustrating. Skelton is the son of the showjumping star Nick, who at age 58 had won a gold medal at the Rio Olympics six weeks before. Dan Skelton had recommended Sulamani The Late to the Holt syndicate and now there is a sense that the £36,000 spent on the horse is halfway down the drain.

Holt and Macnabb have had enough good days to cope with a dismal one. That afternoon Holt received a message from a bloodstock agent who helped the syndicate to find potential horses. “Hi Tony, George Gently was second for Dan [Skelton] in Enghien [France] today. The winner is thought to be very good and it was a great debut run. I bought George for current owners as a yearling and they would be sellers. He is a lovely horse and I feel he could take high rank as a juvenile . . . I feel sure that he is a horse that you [should] be considering.”

After returning from Southwell, Holt emailed Macnabb and another member of the syndicate, John Robertson. Holt was unsure about George Gently. The horse was going to cost £130,000, a lot for a three-year-old with only one run. Against that, there was Skelton’s enthusiasm. “Dan’s conviction,” he wrote, “that the horse is potentially high class may be our most concrete guide.”

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Holt expressed one other reservation. “Both Dan and [the bloodstock agent] represent the seller as well as us so are not totally independent,” he wrote. By that he meant Skelton’s dual position as a trainer of horses owned by Holt and Macnabb, and of George Gently for the horse’s then owners.

“If Dan convinces you, I’m in,” Macnabb replied.

Ultimately, they were convinced. Four days after Southwell, Holt messaged the agent with a £130,000 offer to buy George Gently.

George Gently retired last year. Then trained by Justin Landy in Yorkshire, his last race was at Newcastle, when he came 12th of 12. He is now a lady’s hack in Lincolnshire. As a racehorse, it did not work out. The Holt syndicate paid £130,000 for a horse that was beaten out of sight on his two runs in their colours. A year after buying him, they sold him for £1,800.

It seemed doomed from the start. The pre-purchase veterinary examination (PPE) was arranged for two days after Holt made the offer to buy. The PPE then had to be postponed after the horse “hit himself in the stable” and though the trainer felt it was nothing, he thought it best to give the horse some rest. It was, he told the owners, “the first lame step he’s ever taken in his life”. Three weeks later George Gently passed his veterinary exam and on November 9, Holt transferred £130,000 to the account of the owners, Yorton Farm Stud.

Three weeks further on, a member of Skelton’s staff noticed that George Gently had heat in a front leg. A scan showed up a tendon injury. Though the trainer did not consider the injury to be serious, he advised that the horse be rested for up to 12 months. Fifteen months would pass before George Gently was fit enough to race. Soon he would be sold for 1.38 per cent of what the owners paid for him.

Nick Skelton, father of Dan, won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics
Nick Skelton, father of Dan, won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics
PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Holt is a retired Lloyds underwriter; his partners in the syndicate had also been insurance underwriters. They started buying racehorses in 2011 and understood the risks. What disappointment they felt at George Gently’s injury-ridden career was set against the syndicate’s good luck. They had bought Superb Story for £65,000 in 2014, sent him to Skelton and in 2016 he became the syndicate’s, and the trainer’s, first winner at the Cheltenham Festival. The following month the syndicate had its first grade one winner when Arzal won at Aintree.

George Gently was a reminder that they were not always going to choose the right one. They did not blame Skelton, nor Dave Futter, the proprietor of Yorton Farm Stud. They just put it down to bad luck.

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In the summer of 2018, 18 months after they had bought George Gently, Holt says the syndicate was offered an inexpensive, “fun horse” free of charge by Futter, who felt bad about George. Holt asked Skelton to help him pick the fun horse. Holt was not excited by any that Futter was freely offering but he did like one that was a little more expensive. He asked if he could offset the value of the free horse against the cost of the one he liked.

Futter was reluctant. Skelton weighed in on Holt’s side, encouraging Futter to do a deal. The trainer and the stud owner continued to argue the toss about which horse Holt should get. According to Holt, Futter called him some time later. “He says, ‘Why should I be the one paying for all of this “gesture horse”? Dan owned a third of the horse [George Gently]’.”

“I say, ‘What do you mean Dan owned a third of George Gently?’ He said, ‘Well, Dan got a one-third cut from the sale of the horse.’ I said, ‘Look, you must tell Dan what you just told me.’ Ten or 15 minutes later Dan is on the phone to me and saying, ‘It’s a lie. It’s not true. It’s not true. He’s maligning me. I did not own one third of the horse.’”

There is an agreement that governs owner-trainer relationships in racing. Clause 10 states: “Upon a sale to the owner of a horse in which the trainer has an ownership interest, the trainer shall make all necessary disclosures to the owner in accordance with the British Horseracing Authority’s Code of Conduct.” It is a logical provision, as often an owner will ask a trainer for advice when buying horses, as happened with George Gently.

Futter denies telling Holt that Skelton was a one-third owner. He says Holt misunderstood or misconstrued what he had said.

After the phone call with Holt, Skelton sent a follow-up text message: “Dave apologised to me for what he’s said. I’ll collect the horse [the free horse from Futter] tomorrow. I will keep the horse FOC [free of charge] until July 2019 [a 12-month period] which will include breaking him in and getting him going. Is that OK with you? I want you to be happy Tony. We have a trusting relationship and I do my best for you.”


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The syndicate no longer trusted Skelton. They believed he had a beneficial interest in George Gently that had not been disclosed to them when they asked his opinion about the horse. They removed their six horses from his yard and in late July 2018 they made a formal complaint to the BHA about his behaviour.

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Both parties lawyered up. Holt believed from Futter that Skelton had received a payment from Yorton Farm Stud in relation to George Gently. His legal team asked if there had been such a payment. They were told there had been a payment, but that this was in lieu of training fees incurred by Yorton-owned horses in Skelton’s yard. Skelton’s legal team provided them with the relevant invoice.

It had been sent to Yorton Farm Stud on November 16, 2016, one week after the syndicate had paid for George Gently. The invoice was for £42,033 plus VAT. The invoice listed the six Yorton horses involved, detailing the amount of time they had been with Skelton. This accounted for the £42,033 debt.

Holt and his associates considered it unusual that the invoice was sent from Jam House Bloodstock Ltd. Jam House Bloodstock is one of two companies controlled by Skelton and his wife, Grace. Dan Skelton Racing Ltd is the other. In the Companies House register, Jam House’s business is listed as “Activities of racehorse owners” while every invoice the syndicate received from Skelton for training fees was issued by Dan Skelton Racing.

The single greatest source of concern related to the amount claimed for training fees (£42,033) because that happened to be precisely one third of the £130,000 (less the bloodstock agent’s 2.5 per cent commission, plus VAT) they had paid for George Gently.

Fifteen months after lodging the complaint against Skelton, Holt received a reply from the BHA. A letter from its head of regulation, Andrew Howell, explained to Holt that the case against Skelton was not strong enough to initiate any action against the trainer.


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Howell also wrote: “The BHA acknowledges that it is regrettable that Mr Skelton did not provide prior notice to you that he would benefit financially from the transaction of George Gently. Following this investigation, the BHA would fully expect Mr Skelton to provide information of this nature to his owners in the future and the BHA has made its expectations with regards to the code of conduct to Mr Skelton in concluding this matter.”

The syndicate refused to accept the BHA’s ruling. For almost 3½ years, the case has rumbled on. In a letter from the BHA last month, Howell said that the involvement of Jam House Bloodstock “was essentially an issue of convenience”. As for the construction of the invoice, Howell wrote, “There is no claim that the training fees of all horses amounted to exactly one third of George Gently.” Howell went on to explain that Skelton’s arrangement with Futter was that the trainer would receive one third of the proceeds from the sale of George Gently in lieu of training fees.

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The BHA’s position is that it would have been better for Skelton to advise Holt that he stood to gain financially from the sale of George Gently, but that he was not obliged to do so. In an earlier letter, the governing body advised the syndicate that if it got a judgment against Skelton in a civil case, they would review the case in light of that.

So far, Holt and his friends have spent £120,000 in legal fees. They are determined to continue their action and accept the case may end up in a civil court.

Skelton refused to answer questions about the case. “There are two sides to this story,” he said. He would not elaborate on what his side was.

Who is Dan Skelton?
Skelton set up his own stables in Warwickshire in 2013 after working for the respected trainer Paul Nicholls for several years. He has had four winners at Cheltenham. His brother Harry is a jockey and his father, Nick, won team showjumping gold for Great Britain at the London Olympics and individual gold at Rio 2016.
Pause Switch to Standard View Skelton and litigation. Sunday Times...
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Report LoyalHoncho November 28, 2021 11:40 AM GMT
What a shambles.
I once had a share in a greyhound syndicate whose mission statement was to but saplings and young dogs.  No real issues ( and little success either ) until a couple of years in and the ( top class ) trainer bought a three+ year old dog from another of his owners, for the syndicate.  Bye bye syndicate for me.
I feel for these guys.  They must feel let down and ill-used, and who can blame them?
Report Davros November 28, 2021 12:21 PM GMT
Probably quite a few trainers spitting out their cornflakes this morning having assumed this sort of thing is their birthright.
Report punchestown November 28, 2021 1:08 PM GMT
It must surely have occurred to the new owners that it was a possibility as Skelton was on both sides of the deal to ask him directly was he going to benefit from the sale and nip the whole thing in the bud.
Report doorman99 November 28, 2021 1:16 PM GMT
Bloodstock agent 2.5%? Thought they charged 5%? This smacks of the Webber/Sherwood kerfuffle many years ago, taking a cut from both ends, nice work til you get caught out.
Report 1st time poster November 28, 2021 1:19 PM GMT
theres 2 sides to this,
you,ve only heard one
and i,m not telling you mine
LaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh
Report screaming from beneaththewaves November 28, 2021 1:21 PM GMT
There's a big difference between 1) taking the word of a trainer about buying another horse in his yard; and 2) taking the word of a trainer about buying another horse in his yard when the trainer receives 42 grand after you buy it. Even if the 42 grand really is training fees.


These guys had no reason to think the situation was anything other than option (1). If option (1) really were a big red flag, no trainer could sell a horse to an owner in his yard.
Report sparrow November 28, 2021 1:41 PM GMT
It just shows us a glimpse of what these people are about.  Thank you for posting.
Report Life-Lucky November 28, 2021 1:46 PM GMT
Yes, fascinating insight, great article, thanks for posting
Report geordie1956 November 28, 2021 3:57 PM GMT
Follow the money as it usually tells all you need to know ...
Report Vubiant November 28, 2021 4:01 PM GMT
Murky work.
Report 1st time poster November 28, 2021 4:01 PM GMT
when dealing with the horsey set only 3 rules
keep your hands in your pocket
dont shake hands
and your granny locked up
Report ribero1 November 28, 2021 4:19 PM GMT
Yes,not long since Skelton was screaming the house down when his relationship with Laddies was under threat,good luck to the owners,they've obviously got the dosh to take this further.
Report carrot1960 November 28, 2021 6:03 PM GMT
Shouldn't be hard to find out how many other invoices from "Jam House Bloodstock Ltd " corresponded with the recent sale of a horse connected to Skelton and his associates should it.
Report impossible123 November 28, 2021 6:24 PM GMT
Dodgy as hell. A mere coincidence training fees amounted tp exactly 1/3 share of proceed from the sale of the horse? If so, the Pope is a Muslim.

Once again, the BHA is shirking the issue. They would not want to open a can of "worms" incase other racing luminaries are implicated with the same practice. Where money is involved, there'll always be greed and sharp practice in operation.
Report glentoby November 28, 2021 11:08 PM GMT
Amazes me that so many think the only recourse is civil litigation to resolve an issue that obviously has criminal implications given the evidence already in the public domain.Two "suspected" offences I can identify just from the above article 1. False accounting 2.Fraud with the intention to obtain money or services using false representation.Slightly more detailed obviously but at first sight any savvy police officer would accept a complaint if presented with just the basics of the article.

The syndicate should make such a complaint before they get to litigation and regardless of the BHAs stance bearing in mind also their head of "Integrity" has already departed before some high profile stuff starting this week?
Report mrcombustible November 29, 2021 7:43 PM GMT
By Lee Mottershead, Senior writer
7:00PM, NOV 29 2021
 
Dan Skelton has alleged the owner of his first Cheltenham Festival winner has subjected him to "a campaign" for more than three years as he responded to a Sunday newspaper story that raised questions over the sale of a horse.

Skelton insisted the BHA had previously cleared him of any wrongdoing in relation to a transaction that resulted in a once-raced hurdler being sold to a syndicate that included retired underwriter Tony Holt, who was involved in the partnership that won the County Hurdle with the Skelton-trained Superb Story in 2016.

The 36-year-old, who trained his 1,000th career winner this month, has pledged to give his "full cooperation and assistance" to any new BHA investigation.

The BHA offered no comment on the case, but the syndicate said they were seeking "transparency, honesty, truth and justice" and argued Skelton had been uncooperative over questions put to him by their solicitor and by Sunday Times reporter David Walsh.

According to the article, it was eight months after Superb Story's win that Holt and a group of other owners agreed to pay £130,000 for George Gently having been contacted by a bloodstock agent and speaking with Skelton about the horse.

At that point George Gently had run only once, finishing second in a French juvenile hurdle when trained by Skelton and owned by David Futter's Yorton Farm Stud.

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 18:  Harry Skelton on Superb Story win the Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle as part of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 18, 2016 in Cheltenham, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Superb Story becomes Dan Skelton's first Cheltenham Festival winner in the 2016 County Hurdle
Michael Steele
In two outings for the new owners, George Gently was pulled up at Southwell before finishing seventh at Kempton, after which he was sold by Goffs UK, fetching just £1,800.

The article then claims in a future conversation Futter told Holt that Skelton owned one-third of the horse at the time he was bought by Holt's syndicate and received the equivalent amount from the sale proceeds.

Futter subsequently refuted that, while Skelton's legal team reportedly told Holt's lawyers that the £42,033 the trainer invoiced Futter – equivalent to one-third of the £130,000 minus a bloodstock agent's commission plus VAT – was "in lieu of training fees incurred by Yorton-owned horses in Skelton's yard". Walsh's article states that particular piece of information was also related to Holt by BHA head of regulation Andrew Jowell.

GEORGE GENTLYDAN SKELTON STABLE TOUR 2016GROSSICK PHOTOGRAPHYThe Steadings Rockhallhead Collin DG1 4JW www.grossick.co.ukJOHN GROSSICK
George Gently schools at home when trained by Dan Skelton
Grossick Racing
In a statement issued on Sunday, Skelton said: "Mr Holt embarked on a campaign against me in relation to his purchase of George Gently some time ago.

"That began in mid-2018 when he made a complaint against me to the BHA. The BHA carefully and properly investigated that complaint and I gave them my full cooperation. The BHA, on completion of its investigation, concluded that no further action should be taken.

"Mr Holt over the next two years then made a number of threats of legal action before raising a further complaint with the BHA concerning the same horse. I have offered my full cooperation and assistance to the BHA.

"Owners who entrust their horses to me are always, along with their horses, my priority. I have been extremely lucky both with the many owners that have been with us from the beginning and those who have joined us more recently. We share a common goal and respect for the horses that we train for them. Inevitably, there are disappointments in racing and in racehorse ownership."

The dispute between the syndicate and Skelton continues, with the possibility remaining that the case will end up in civil court.

Contacted by the Racing Post, a spokesman for the syndicate said: "Mr Holt and his fellow syndicate members instigated a complaint against Mr Skelton following David Futter's disclosure of Mr Skelton's interest in George Gently.

"The BHA reopened the case against Mr Skelton following the presentation of additional new evidence and this investigation still continues.

"Mr Skelton has repeatedly refused transparency and credible answers to the evidential questions of the syndicate's solicitor and has also declined to provide a response to David Walsh. On a matter of principle the syndicate seeks transparency, honesty, truth and justice."
Report punchestown November 29, 2021 8:13 PM GMT
If it walks like a duck....
Report lead on November 29, 2021 8:16 PM GMT
"waddles" in fatboy's case
Report ribero1 November 29, 2021 8:25 PM GMT
Some interesting stuff on twitter re Skelton,offering to train the Bishop's horses for free as long as Cue Card came,couple more similar tales.
Report Dr Crippen November 29, 2021 8:31 PM GMT
"Mr Skelton has repeatedly refused transparency and credible answers to the evidential questions of the syndicate's solicitor''

Which means nothing.

It's a cert he's been advised by his own solicitor to keep his mouth shut.
Report chavman November 29, 2021 8:31 PM GMT
i remember on here a couple of years ago there was talk of a trainer trying to tap up owners from other trainers,was that him by any chance
Report the dealer November 29, 2021 8:53 PM GMT
99% sure it was
Report impossible123 November 29, 2021 10:09 PM GMT
The vendor of the horse concerned spilled the bean to the buyer about Skelton's (ownership) part in the transaction (allegedly), then retracted it. If proven, could this be a case of no honour amongst thieves?
Report MJK November 30, 2021 6:17 AM GMT
Slightly off topic but didn't someone post a while back that a lot of trainers wouldn't give Harry outside rides as they were afraid the horse's in question might end up moved to his brother?
Report ribero1 November 30, 2021 7:28 AM GMT
That sounds about right MJK.
Report Dr Gonzo November 30, 2021 10:08 AM GMT
I cannot understand how the BHA could come to the conclusion that it ‘would’ve been better’ for Skelton to have disclosed this information, but that he was ‘not obliged’ to. The Code of Conduct is perfectly clear that a trainer “must” disclose any interest or financial benefit they will receive from the sale. If “must” doesn’t actually confer an obligation, what exactly the the point of the Code of Conduct?
Report in hell November 30, 2021 10:48 AM GMT
Futter subsequently refuted that, while Skelton's legal team reportedly told Holt's lawyers that the £42,033 the trainer invoiced Futter – equivalent to one-third of the £130,000 minus a bloodstock agent's commission plus VAT – was "in lieu of training fees incurred by Yorton-owned horses in Skelton's yard". Walsh's article states that particular piece of information was also related to Holt by BHA head of regulation Andrew Jowell.

Coincidence that the training fees came to a 3rd of the sale Cool
Report Dr Gonzo November 30, 2021 12:09 PM GMT
I’m not even sure that the distinction of whether he formally owned a share in the horse is that important. The code states that a trainer must declare that they have “an interest” in a horse, but also whether they stand to “receive a financial benefit of any kind from the sale”. Even if he didn’t formally own a share of the horse, it appears that there must have been an agreement that he would receive a payment for waived training fees when the horse was sold.

It’s hard to see how that doesn’t represent a “financial benefit”. Of course, if he did actually formally own a share in the horse then that would be an aggravating factor.
Report maelduin November 30, 2021 1:20 PM GMT
The horse got a tendon injury 3 weeks after arrival in Skeltons yard. I'm sure it had nothing to do with him hitting himself a few weeks prior. Mischief
Report carrot1960 November 30, 2021 1:25 PM GMT
How hard can it be be to see what other " training fees went through Jam House Bloodstock Ltd"
Report maelduin November 30, 2021 3:32 PM GMT
Won't be hard now that owners determined to bring this further and BHA have reopened the case.
Report screaming from beneaththewaves November 30, 2021 5:20 PM GMT
The horse got a tendon injury 3 weeks after arrival in Skeltons yard. I'm sure it had nothing to do with him hitting himself a few weeks prior

We'll never know, but I had a filly who had heat in her nr fore the morning after winning a race on hard ground. When I got her home, I had both front legs scanned, and there was indeed a tear in the nr fore, but there was also a tear in the off-fore, which was starting to heal!. She'd evidently had a previous tendon injury from something else, weeks before, without any symptoms.
Report Vubiant November 30, 2021 5:34 PM GMT
I make no bones about it -there looks to be  an ominous skelton in the closet here.
Report TheAnorak December 2, 2021 11:47 AM GMT
For interest, there's a sale being run by Goffs today at Yorton Farm, which includes a 3-y-old that won a hurdle in France on his debut on Monday. That horse is called Invictus Smart and he was being trained in France and is shown in the catalogue today as 'Consigned by H Merienne', the French trainer in question.

France Galop however shows the ownership of the horse as being 34% C J Edwards, 33% D Futter, 33% H Merienne. Edwards and Futter being the owners that sold George Gently. Oh, and Invictus Smart is a son of Masterstroke, who stands at Yorton Farm Stud.

This is the race he won - Invictus Smart is No 9 in all white colours, ridden by James Reveley:

https://www.equidia.fr/courses/2021-11-29/R3/C5
Report ged December 2, 2021 3:17 PM GMT
Bought as a yearling at Osarus sale at Maisons-Laffitte by Richard Venn (bloodstock agent)/Yorton Farm for 24,000 euros. (Venn bought George Gently as a yearling).

Unsold at Goffs-run sale at Yorton Farm in Sept 2020, 24,000 euros.

Just gone for £200,000 after that win.
Report screaming from beneaththewaves December 2, 2021 4:01 PM GMT
34% C J Edwards, 33% D Futter, 33% H Merienne

I've had half a dozen goes at constructing a comment on that piece of information, but every one of them would have been libellous.
Report impossible123 January 2, 2022 7:50 PM GMT
Finally the BHA have decided to charge him. It's so clear cut, and long overdue (3.5 years). No thanks to the BHA, but well done the owners of George Gently for perseverance. Let's hope the penalty fits the crime. Another own-goal by a prominent trainer of horseracing; money = greed and fraud.
Report ccfcbluebird January 2, 2022 8:38 PM GMT
Beats me how they ran up 42,000 of training fees, could only find one horse they have raced with Skelton and that was Virgilio.
Report lead on January 2, 2022 8:44 PM GMT
Should he not be suspended while this is investigated...after all it is just as damaging to racing's image as anything Gordon Elliott did...I wonder how many of the gravy train eg Fitzgerald will be clutching their pearls over this one
Report Theoneandonly January 2, 2022 9:49 PM GMT
The explanation that the BHA gave that he raised the invoice in the other company name for 'convenience' could potentially raise questions with the taxman!

I think a big problem in racing is some people treating owners that pump money into the game like mugs. With training 6 horses for the syndicate you would think he would have been getting 50-100k a year from then anyway, Plus they were looking to win big races and spend money to buy horses to go in skeltons yard which would have been perfect for him. Wonder why the BHA have suddenly changed their position on the matter?
Report impossible123 January 2, 2022 9:58 PM GMT
I think who "owners" are may have a reason for a change of position by the BHA - bloody hopeless agency!
Report Chadfan January 2, 2022 10:39 PM GMT
Another potential PR disaster for horse racing. They keep coming.
Report Deptford January 3, 2022 6:04 AM GMT
BHA are not fit for purpose.
Report MythWA January 3, 2022 9:19 AM GMT
I was told that its a common practice that when a trainer recommends a purchase they automatically get a a share for free and their name is not mentioned in the owners credits in the media.
Report Somerset Sam January 3, 2022 10:43 AM GMT
It's not good enough the skullduggery that goes on, like something out of a Dick Francis novel. But to play Devils Advocate if I may, I assume the owners had carried out their own due diligence and were content at buying the horse for £130,000 regardless of who the sellers actually were and that this was value in their own mind?

Would they have been as disgruntled if the horse had gone on to be the next Kauto Star?

Skelton's role stinks there is no doubt about that.
Report Gagging January 3, 2022 12:22 PM GMT
A rock-solid absolutely clear 'conflict of interests' here from the outset - shame on the BHA for a muddled and wrong determination. Of course transparency was required - morally and legally. As clear as the virologists' letter to the Lancet in 2020 [and it's acceptance by editorial staff and many who should have known better throughout the medical world] - stating that the Covid pandemic could not have originated from a Wuhan laboratory which it likely or almost certainly did.
Report barstool January 3, 2022 12:33 PM GMT
If the trainer has introduced the owner to the vendor "taking a drink" out of the proceedings is considered normal practice. It was alleged Skelton's former boss took a 10k tipple which an owner took exception to. Cannot remember the horse involved though.

I often wondered if Howard Johnson liked a drink.
Report impossible123 January 3, 2022 7:58 PM GMT
1/3 share of the horse in question conveniently equals to the cost of training fees. Merely a coincidence or staggeringly arrogant and disdain to the owners?

Why did he not put his hands up and cough up? The present predicament is character damaging and professionally tarnished irrevocably.
Report sparrow January 3, 2022 8:06 PM GMT
Skelton just sounds like an old time con artist to me.
Report dambuster January 4, 2022 4:47 PM GMT
I wonder if ITV Racing will question him about it ?LaughLaughLaughLaugh
Report impossible123 January 4, 2022 5:24 PM GMT
"I wonder if ITV Racing will question him about it"

ITV Racing with their sycophantic presenters and sponsorship? More chance of The Pope not being a Christian, I'd think. Neither the BHA, the authority supposedly overseeing and responsible for the integrity of the participants in horseracing.
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