By Martin McNamara
The BBC’s Kenyon Confronts series is planning another major exposÃ© of the racing industry after what executive producer Paul Woolwich branded as the “pathetic” response of the Jockey Club to the programme’s allegations broadcast last year.
Kenyon Confronts has just been recommissioned for another series of six programmes, and one of them will return to the racing world.
Sources said it would be investigating claims of money laundering within racing and had been contacted by several important ?gures in the sport with fresh allegations.
Last week the Jockey Club imposed a ?ne of £7,200 on trainer David Wintle. In the investigation, broadcast in June, viewers saw Wintle tell undercover reporter Paul Kenyon that he was willing to cheat with a horse to land a gamble. Later in the programme he was seen grappling with Kenyon after the journalist’s cover had been blown.
Two other trainers, also featured in the programme, They Fix Races, Don’t They?, were both ?ned £4,000 at earlier hearings.
Woolwich said: “The Jockey Club had a golden opportunity to show the racing public that it was going to have no truck with this sort of cheating but in reality it has let all these trainers off with a rather pathetic slap on the wrist.”
After the broadcast, the Jockey Club had criticised the programme for underhand tactics.
Woolwich said: “The Jockey Club, and the racing industry as a whole, criticised our journalism when we ?rst revealed what was taking place under its nose.” Woolwich said that while the ?nes did not match the seriousness of the allegations, they did at least vindicate the programme. “These three cases have proven everything we said in the programme was totally accurate,” he added.
The programme makers had provided almost eight hours of unbroadcast material to the Jockey Club to help in its investigations. They said they had done so on the understanding that the Jockey Club would take the allegations seriously.
Woolwich said: “One wonders whose interests it is protecting and how many more Dave Wintles are practicing their craft on British racecourses. We fear that this rather lenient punishment will do little to reassure the public about the Club’s intentions to clean up the sport and may simply offer succour to others prepared to ?x races.”
John Maxse, spokesman for the Jockey Club, denied that the organisation had been lenient on the trainers and said the disciplinary panel had operated correctly within the Club’s guidelines.
He said the programme had been a “legitimate piece of work”, but added: “To give the programme extra punch, some of the complexities of the racing world had to be sacri?ced in order to meet with the requirements of an audience that wouldn’t understand how it operates.”