Woe for trainer Wigham as he faces up to record fine


Last updated at 21:22 03 January 2008

Newmarket trainer

Michael Wigham

yesterday reacted

with shock when he

was told he is facing

a record fine after breaking

racing's non-trier rules for

the second time within 12


Wigham was referred to the

BHA disciplinary panel along

with jockey Jamie Mackay over

the performance of Granakey at

Kempton on Wednesday evening.

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The BHA beefed up its penalties

in the summer in an attempt

to clamp down on an area which

infuriates punters.

The minimum fine for a second

offence is £15,000 but the entry

point recommendation is £20,000

with a maximum of £35,000.

The BHA panel also have the

power to prevent Wigham from

entering any of his horses in races

for between 21 and 42 days.

Wigham, 49, a trainer for eight

years and rider of 600 winners as a

Flat jockey, said: "I didn't know

these penalties had been

increased. As there is an inquiry

pending into Granakey I don't

wish to say anything at this stage."

The three-time winner, a 14-1

shot, finished ninth of 11 to

Arfinnit in the six-furlong handicap,

beaten over six lengths.

Close up analysis of the race

read: steadied start, held up in

last, shuffled along two furlongs

out, never reached leaders.

Wigham, who has a 14-horse

string, was fined £5,000 over the

running and riding of Silver Hotspur

at Newmarket on June 22.

On appeal, the fine was raised to

£7,500 and jockey Brett Doyle's

riding ban increased from 28 to

33 days.

The largest fine ever imposed on a trainer was £17,500 for David

Elsworth in December 1988 following

a hearing into three wins

by the chaser Cavvies Clown in

January that year.

Elsworth's fines amounted to

£3,500 for each race after the

horse was found to have tested

positive to steroids, coupled with

a £3,500 veterinary fine for administering

a prohibited drug.

He also received a £3,500

penalty for denying the horse had

had such treatment.

The ability of the BHA to refuse

to take entries from a stable is

seen as a major deterrent compared

to the banning of individual


A Classic horse could forfeit the

chance of a Derby run, for example,

for the misdemeanor involving

an inferior stablemate.