The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has fined Godolphin £15,000 for breaching the sponsorship rules when the filly Skiffle ran in the Group 1 Investec Oaks June 3.
The Racing Post reports that the BHA's disciplinary panel found that Godolphin had “flouted” an exclusivity arrangement with race sponsor Investec after Godolphin's John Ferguson had jockey William Buick remove tape that a BHA representative had placed over the 'Fly Emirates' logo on his silks. Skiffle's groom also wore a team jacket rather than one with an Investec logo on it.
According to the Post, the fine issued rated toward the higher end of the scale, which ranges from £1-25,000.
BHA spokesman Robin Mounsey issued the following statement:
“The disciplinary panel found that a breach of Rule (A)39 – requirement to comply with controls on sponsorship – was committed by Godolphin at Epsom on Oaks day in that they instructed the attendant leading up Skiffle to wear a jacket carrying Godolphin's own sponsors logo, and instructed the rider to remove the tape that had been put over their sponsor's logo from his riding silks. These actions are prohibited because Investec have an exclusivity deal when it comes to sponsorship on Oaks and Derby day.
“The actions of Godolphin on the day were a clear and admitted breach of the rules, and it was appropriate for the BHA to pursue the matter and have the disciplinary panel consider what disciplinary action was warranted.
“However, we believe there is a wider question here as to whether the sport can do more to avoid potentially conflicting sponsorship arrangements and also whether the BHA's resources are best used enforcing rules which address issues more relevant to our sport's commercial parties. These topics have already been raised for discussion at a meeting of the sport's executive committee on Sept. 12.”
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