Best: Paul John was not dedicated at all

Trainer Jim Best

Trainer Jim Best: denies telling John to stop two horses in 2015

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

 By Jon Lees 1:54PM 23 NOV 2016 

JIM BEST on Wednesday said he had to take Paul John to task about his lifestyle and attitude to work, despite having taken him on as a conditional at the suggestion of top jockeys’ agent Dave Roberts.

The Lewes trainer said John told him he had left Mark Gillard, who previously held his licence, after an owner spat at him, and when asked about his time with Victor Dartnall replied, “Victor Dartnall is an a*******.”

John had been though a number of yards in a short period of time but Best said he was prepared to give John a chance if he showed dedication and worked hard.

However, he said he was “horrified” to learn that when there was delay to John receiving his conditional licence the rider alleged PJA chief executive Paul Struthers told him the reason was because “you stop horses”.

“I was furious,” said Best “I phoned Paul Struthers and he said he would never say anything like that. He said he was lucky to even have a job after leaving so many yards.

“I told Paul John he never said it and he said ‘Yeah he did’. He never apologised, never said sorry.”

Best was giving evidence for the first time at the rehearing of a BHA disciplinary panel hearing at which he faces charges of ordering John to stop two horses, Echo Brava and Missile Man, in races at Plumpton and Towcester in December last year. He is also charged with conduct prejudicial to horse racing.

The Lewes trainer, who denies all charges, coughed a lot during the hearing, which the panel was told was a symptom of his anxiety.

Best, who said he had trained over 200 winners, said he had a full yard of 32 horses when John joined him in the summer of 2015, staying in the yard for seven weeks.

Best said John was an “okay rider” but had problems getting him to do jobs around the yard  and with late nights.

“There were occasions when my wife was woken at 1.30am by shouting outside and Paul coming in late at night. He was not dedicated at all. I would give him a talk and hope he took it on board and improved”.

When John wanted to have Christmas off, Best said he asked Roberts to have a word with him.

The case continues.

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