The British Jockey Club announced on July 11 that it has a launched an investigation into the use of inside information within British racing.
Owen Byrne, a Jockey Club spokesman, explained: "The aim is to review current arrangements and identify an appropriate approach to deal with the use of 'inside information' within the racing and betting industries for the future."
The inquiry panel is chaired by John Bridgeman, the chairman of the Regulatory Board and chairman designate of the Horseracing Regulatory Authority. The members are: Toby Balding (former trainer), Rodney Brack (chief executive of the Levy Board), Jim McGrath (director of Timeform, Channel 4 Racing pundit and a director of the British Horseracing Board), Jeremy Gompertz (owner and breeder), Ben Gunn (a former chief constable, member of the Regulatory Board and of the Gaming Board for Great Britain), Richard Dunwoody and John Reid (former jockeys and past chairmen of the Jockeys Association of Great Britain), and Paul Scotney (Jockey Club director of Security).
Bridgeman commented: 'The issue of inside information in horseracing is a contentious one which, in recent years, has been increasingly debated. The panel will look at what constitutes inside information in horseracing, and its misuse. It will also investigate how other sports regulatory bodies and the financial community deal with the problems arising from inside information.
"With the growth of betting opportunities now available, there is a clear need for more guidance for owners, trainers, jockeys and stable staff and the racing public over inside information and how it can or cannot be used. The establishment of this broadly-based panel of inquiry clearly demonstrates that maintaining public confidence in the fairness and integrity of the sport, and the betting it attracts, is a priority for the whole of racing."
McGrath added: "Consumer confidence is vital to any strong and healthy betting market. Determining a definitive understanding to suit all parties might not prove straightforward but, in an era when racing's share of the gambling industry is facing increasing competition, it's high time we tried."
The panel will invite submissions before reporting back before the end of the year. A working party will then make recommendations on how inside information should be regulated, with scheduled completion by the spring of 2006.