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Former trainer in ownership row after horse is removed from yard.

Byline: Graham Green

FORMERtrainer Danny Mullarkey was at the centre of controversy yesterday following claims he removed a racehorse from Gary Bridgwater's stable without permission, writes Graham Green. Monday's incident involving On Angels Wings, an unraced three-year-old, was reported to Warwickshire police, who are currently treating it as a civil dispute.

This is the second time police have been embroiled in the increasingly bitter row between Lisa Tomlin, owner of Smallburns Stud near Hexham, and Mullarkey and his partner June Frankham, with whom she put the son of Polar Prince in training last August when he was renting a yard in Newmarket.

Relations deteriorated to the stage that, over Easter, Tomlin, by now heading a syndicate of five partners, informed Mullarkey she was moving On Angels Wings. Tomlin then received a bill of more than pounds 5,000 for training fees since the turn of the year, but refused to pay after discovering Mullarkey had lost his licence in January because of Jockey Club concerns about his ability to run the business.

Having learned that On Angels Wings had been moved to stables in Isleham, Cambridgeshire, Tomlin requested a police presence last Saturday when he was collected without incident and taken to Bridgwater's base at Shrewley, near Warwick, which already houses another of her horses.

Tomlin said: ``On Monday morning, June and Danny Mullarkey arrived at Gary's yard and removed the horse. Gary's wife reported it to Warwickshire police.

``I know June and Danny claim to have a ten per cent share in the horse, but I've got all the paperwork for my other four shareholders, and they have signed nothing. After learning Danny couldn't have been training the horse because he had-n't had a licence since January, and that he had the horse under misrepresentation, my solicitor wrote to him saying we wouldn't pay the bill unless he could justify what has been going on.''

Bridgwater said: ``They [Mullarkey and Frankham] phoned me up and said they were going to come and collect the horse. I said that if they had all the proper documentation, a solicitor's letter, and the police came with them and said they could have the horse, they could certainly take the horse, but they arrived and basically just took him.''

Speaking to the Racing Postyesterday, Mullarkey said: ``We're just trying to get our money for the horse because she [Tomlin] hasn't paid us since December.''

Frankham said: ``He [Mullarkey] can't have stolen the horse if he owns a good percentage, and there's pounds 5,500 worth of fees owing. It's all being dealt with by solicitors.''
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Apr 20, 2005
Words:432
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