Brooks free to train despite arrest

Racing was drawn into the phone hacking enquiry yesterday when trainer Charlie Brooks was arrested along with his wife Rebekah, and four other people, on charges of perverting the course of justice.

The Brooks’s were woken before 7am yesterday at their home near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire before spending 12 hours under questioning at separate police stations in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. They were bailed until next month, but could eventually face a jail sentence of up to ten years.

The trainer endured a rather different day from the one he had planned. He had written in his Daily Telegraph column that he was looking forward to the opening day of Cheltenham. “The happiest moment of my year is about three hours before the first race at Cheltenham on Tuesday, queuing behind Alan Brazil for my, but not his, first pint of Guinness before the meeting.”

Brooks had a brush with the police in 1999 when he was arrested and questioned after a race fixing allegation. Although he wasn’t charged, he stopped training shortly afterwards and only resumed last year. As yet he hasn’t trained a winner since his come back, but will be hoping to do so at Huntingdon where he runs Beckhani in the bumper.

There had been some doubt whether the horse would be allowed to run, but as the trainer has not been charged with any offence, the British Horseracing Authority confirmed there was nothing to prevent the horse taking part. John Maxse, for the BHA said, “The BHA will continue to monitor any developments in relation to the case, but for the time being what has happened will not impact on Charlie Brooks’s licence to train.”

Nor should it.