HomeHorse RacingBen Yole banned from attending future races after race-fixing report's adverse findings

Ben Yole banned from attending future races after race-fixing report’s adverse findings

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Tasmania’s leading harness racing trainer, Ben Yole, has been banned from entry to the state’s racetracks, two days after the release of a major independent report into race fixing. 

Tasracing last night issued the notices to Mr Yole and others named in the Murrihy Report after the report made adverse findings against several individuals.

The report, headed by independent former steward Ray Murrihy, investigated claims of race fixing, team driving and animal abuse first aired by the ABC last March.

The government made the report public on Wednesday, more than two months after receiving it, and it made a number of findings against Mr Yole, including that he participated in fixing at least two races in 2022.

Ben Yole’s property near Sidmouth, north-west of Launceston.(ABC News)

Despite the findings, the Office of Racing Integrity stopped short of standing down Mr Yole, meaning he will be allowed to continue to train and enter horses in races.

Yole horses scratched by Tasracing

All 38 horses trained by Mr Yole which were listed to race at Mowbray in Launceston tonight have been scratched.

However, almost 50 runners scheduled to run in Hobart on Sunday remain listed to run.

The scratchings were confirmed at 3pm, after TasRacing issued Yole a notice “warning him off” Tasmanian racetracks.

It’s understood a Yole truck containing horses and equipment was denied entry to the Mowbray racecourse this afternoon.

Yole runners that were scheduled to run at Leeton in New South Wales were also scratched, including eight of the nine runners in the first race.

A list of horses on a wall.

Ben Yole’s runners fill many of the races, and in some races, every horse on the field is from his stable.(ABC News: Maren Preuss)

Corey Bell, a harness driver and trainer who was named in the Murrihy Report, has also had a number of entrants scratched from meets in New South Wales and Victoria.

Mr Yole has continued to train, and has fielded about 700 runners in races since November, when the report was first handed to the government.

Upon the release of the report this week, the government announced an independent panel of stewards would be formed to further investigate, and potentially sanction Mr Yole, over a number of suspect races and instances of animal abuse identified by Mr Murrihy.

Tasracing announced it was exploring its legal options, separate to the Office of Racing Integrity, in regards to the allegations against Yole Racing and others implicated in the report.

A horse wearing a coat standing under a shade cloth.

Shade cloths on Mr Yole’s property were only erected a month before the ABC aired its investigation.(ABC News: Maren Preuss)

Yole can ‘show cause’ why ban should be cancelled

Last night, it served formal notices to those named in the report, warning them off “all venues controlled by Tasracing in Tasmania”.

Race horses in a stable at night.

Ben Yole’s horses at the Mowbray Racecourse stables last year.(ABC News: Maren Preuss)

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