Accused vet: I’d never break trust with Willie Mullins by discussing Faugheen

The vet accused of passing inside information on Faugheen to his brother who laid the horse to lose the 2016 Champion Hurdle said he would never discuss any horse he was treating.

Tim Brennan, principal vet to trainer Willie Mullins, said he would be breaching the trust of Ireland's champion jumps trainer, who provides up to 40 per cent of his business and for whom he continues to work, if he shared what he knew of the stable's horses with anyone outside the yard.

Giving evidence on the second day of a BHA corruption inquiry, Brennan, when directly asked by senior counsel Stephen Lanigan-O'Keeffe, said he did not pass confidential information to his brother.

"It is the cornerstone of a vet or doctor's career that you make an oath in which you swear to keep confidentiality with clients and patients," he told a disciplinary panel in London.

"It's part of your integrity, it's vitally important. It would break his [Mullins’] trust with me. He relies on my confidentiality. I guess it's why I have been there ten years."

Inside information charge

Brennan, from Gowran, is charged with conspiring with his brother to commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice by passing on inside information about an injury to Faugheen before it became public, which he obtained as the horse's vet and which might be used to gain an unfair advantage in the betting market and/or enabling or assisting his brother to cheat at gambling.

Michael Brennan, a meat wholesaler based in Naas where he also has a livery yard, wagered a little more than €2,000 after depositing €2,400 in his Betfair account, which would have netted him a potential profit of €3,342 in a series of lay bets placed 48 hours before the horse was ruled out of the Cheltenham Festival.

The inquiry heard Tim Brennan had practised for 22 years and for the last ten years had worked for Mullins. Having been brought up in the same local community they had many connections, including family, with Brennan's cousin being married to Tom Mullins, brother of Willie.

Brennan said he did not find out his brother had laid Faugheen until he received a letter from the BHA about the case. "I discussed it with him and he told me all about it," Brennan said. "I asked him on several occasions if he would provide his telephone records and he said 'I can't' or 'I won't'."