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Horse Racing: Tail flick can not be explained by expert; in association with Pagebet.

THE Queen's horse Daring Aim almost found herself as the star witness in the Kieren Fallon race-fixing trial yesterday.

It looked as though the filly might be called to the witness box at the Old Bailey after an expert suggested a lawyer should get the answer to a question straight from the horse's mouth.

Daring Aim was ridden to victory by top jockey Kieren Fallon at Newmarket in July 2004, but the race is alleged to have been involved in a scam. Australia's chief steward Ray Murrihy was asked his opinion on the race in which the horse was said to have a "whirling tail".

Murrihy was asked by Fallon's QC John Kelsey-Fry: "What does a flick of the tail mean?" To laughter, Murrihy replied: "You would have to ask the individual horse." An incredulous Kelsey-Fry replied: "How am I to ask Daring Aim that?"

Murrihy did not agree with the defence suggestion it was universally accepted to be a sign of reluctance.

The clash came after a day of exchanges in court where the steward was giving evidence for the prosecution for a third day.

At one point the barrister asked Murrihy to agree that the jockey had made a "reprehensible and horrendous" error in a race which he lost on Ballinger Ridge after having a commanding lead.

But Murrihy replied: "I am not in a position to say. I did not investigate it."

He said he had been asked to give an independent assessment of 27 races by police and had given his opinion based on Australian rules.

He denied a suggestion that he had been asked to look for damaging evidence.

Murrihy said he picked out 13 races ridden by Fallon and fellow jockeys Darren Williams and Fergal Lynch in which he would have held a steward's inquiry.

Jockeys Kieren Fallon, 42, formerly of Newmarket, Cambridgeshire, but now of Tipperary, Ireland; Fergal Lynch, 29, of Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire; and Darren Williams, 29, of Leyburn, North Yorkshire, deny the conspiracy between December 2002 and August 2004 to allow horses to lose so a betting syndicate could win money.

Lynch's brother, Shaun Lynch, 38, of Belfast; professional gambler Miles Rodgers, 38, of Silkstone, South Yorkshire; and barman Philip Sherkle, 42, of Tamworth, Staffordshire, also plead not guilty. Rodgers also denies concealing the proceeds of crime. All the defendants are on bail.

The trial will continue today.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 1, 2007
Words:397
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