Best rehearing put back two months after challenge

Trainer Jim Best

Jim Best: a provisional date of November 21 was named on Tuesday

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

 By Mark Scully 6:17PM 6 SEP 2016 

JIM BEST’S rehearing has been rescheduled to a provisional date of November 21 after the trainer challenged the September 19 slot originally set by the BHA.

The challenge of that date was heard on Tuesday by the chair of the BHA’s proposed panel William Norris QC, who ruled the hearing should take place over five days from its new provisional date.

The next step in the process will come on October 7, when Best and his legal team will have the opportunity to challenge the appointment to, and composition of, the panel that will rehear the charges against him.

Best was disqualified for four years after being found guilty of ordering conditional jockey Paul John to stop two horses from running on their merits, but that verdict was quashed after the BHA accepted there was a perception of bias surrounding the appointment of solicitor Matthew Lohn to the panel who came to that decision.

The BHA has faced accusations of imposing the rehearing date on Best, but spokesman Robin Mounsey said the governing body is committed to ensuring a fair hearing.

‘Objective to ensure a fair process’

“It was made very clear that Mr Best had the opportunity to challenge the timing and the constitution of the panel should he so wish and that, in the interests of fairness, any challenges would be placed into the hands of the disciplinary panel, rather than the BHA executive,” said Mounsey.

“Such a challenge was considered by the chair of the proposed panel, who has determined that the rehearing should be arranged provisionally for November 21 for five days.

“Mr Norris also outlined that a further hearing should be scheduled for October 7 to consider any challenges from Mr Best to the panel’s appointment and composition.”

He added: “The BHA has acted appropriately by asking the disciplinary panel to rule on any issues related to the timing of the rehearing. We have always said that our objective throughout has been to ensure a fair process is followed.”

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