Six-month ban handed to Northamptonshire racecourse boss after being found guilty of breaching rules

Towcester Racecourse.
Towcester Racecourse.
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The boss of Towcester racecourse says he will appeal after being handed a six-month racing ban for breaching the rules of racing.

Kevin Ackerman, who was instrumental in bringing greyhound racing to the venue for the first time last year, was also fined £5,000 following a ruling by the British Horseracing Association (BHA) yesterday.

Kevin Ackerman has been banned for six months after being found guilty of playing a pat in a bet fixing scheme.

Kevin Ackerman has been banned for six months after being found guilty of playing a pat in a bet fixing scheme.

The investigation centred around six races at Kempton and Wolverhampton between November 2, 2011, and March 8, 2012, which featured the horse Ad Vitam.

Ackerman was found to have breached the rules of racing alongside registered owner Kenneth Mackay and former owner David Greenwood.

Mackay was excluded for six months and fined £5,000, with Greenwood, who had already been warned off for a separate offence, banned for eight years.

The panel found Greenwood had given Stainton instructions to ride Ad Vitam for “handicapping reasons” in order “to reduce the horse’s official rating to a mark at which David Greenwood judged it would be more competitive”.

Greenwood was found to have communicated this information to Ackerman, who placed four lay bets alongside Mackay, but no reward was involved.

Ackerman and Mackay were subsequently found in breach of one rule while Greenwood was found to have broken four rules and Stainton three.

A previous BHA investigation of Greenwood saw charges against him dropped in March.

Ackerman’s suspension will begin immediately, with the next fixture at Towcester on November 5.

BHA spokesman Robin Mounsey said: “We will be working with Towcester to ensure everything is in place for the course’s next fixture following the penalties from the disciplinary panel.”

Both Ackerman and Greenwood now intend to appeal.

A statement from Stewart-Moore solicitors, representing them, said: “Mr Ackerman and Mr Greenwood have been found in breach of the rules of racing on the basis of charges that were never put to them. Obviously that is fundamentally unjust.

“In any event the panel’s findings are completely illogical.

“The finding that there was no conspiracy between Mr Greenwood and Mr Ackerman means just that - there was no conspiracy and, therefore, the BHA’s case fails.

“The fact that the panel has contrived to find our clients in breach in this circumstance makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

“Both Mr Ackerman and Mr Greenwood will be appealing the panel’s finding given the very obvious and fatal flaw in the panel’s reasoning.”

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