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BHA keeps Hillside Girl affair alive.

Byline: Turia Tellwright

THE BHA was yesterday refusing to close the book on the Hillside Girl affair, following the Crown Prosecution Service's decision to drop charges this week, writes Turia Tellwright.

Speaking on At The Races, spokesman Paul Struthers admitted there were a "couple of outstanding matters" that the authority would be looking into.

In the affair that saw trainer Alan Berry and farrier Steve O'Sullivan charged with conspiracy to defraud Betfair punters, O'Sullivan allegedly used privileged information, knowing that Hillside Girl was lame before running, to his own advantage on the betting exchange.

In 2004 the Jockey Club decided that O'Sullivan knew that the horse, trained by Berry, was in fact lame. However, the CPS dropped all charges on Tuesday, stating that there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction.

Berry trained his first winner since the charges were dropped when Her Name Is Rio was successful at Southwell yesterday.

"Our reaction is not exactly one of surprise," Struthers said yesterday. "This investigation wasn't one of the races we spotted, but one that they the police picked up as part of their own investigation.

"Ultimately, the process is over, we're pleased that it is and this is good for racing."

This latest decision comes just a month after the collapse of the trial of Kieren Fallon, Miles Rodgers and four others at the Old Bailey.

Struthers said: "It wouldn't be good for racing, especially with another Panorama programme coming, that if there was serious breaches of the rules of racing we didn't look into those."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jan 11, 2008
Words:257
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