Rider fears for future over book’s revelations

THE Yorkshire rider whose name was used by a fake jockey to con money and tickets out of football manager Harry Redknapp fears for his future in the saddle because of the unwanted – and unexpected – publicity.

Lee Topliss, 24, says he was given no advance warning that the story was to feature in a national newspaper’s serialisation of Redknapp’s autobiography, and that the material was illustrated by a photo of him in his racing silks.

In the book, Redknapp says he was introduced at a casino to a young man called Lee Topliss who he described as a “nice kid”. The then Tottenham Hotspur manager added: “He wasn’t dressed too well, looked like he could do with a few quid, but very open and chatty. If you like a bet, he seemed like a good man to know.”

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Yet it appears, from the published extracts, that it took Redknapp many realise to realise that the “jockey” asking for tickets for virtually every home match at Tottenham, and who he loaned £500 to pay for an airfare, was not the Lee Topliss who has been attached to top trainer Richard Fahey’s Malton yard since April 2009, and who is due to ride at Catterick today.

The first that Topliss knew that his name had been used in this “con” was when Redknapp telephoned him two months ago.

“In the conversation he had with me, he thought it was funny. I’ve ridden for him a couple of times before, I do know Harry,” the jockey told the Yorkshire Post.

“He didn’t mention at all that it would feature in his book – the job is hard enough without this kind of publicity.

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“The way it has come across in the paper, and with my photo, it makes me people think I am dishonest when I’m just a young jockey trying to get more rides. It is causing me a lot of problems.”

Redknapp is no stranger to Yorkshire racing and has the highly-rated Moviesta in training with Bryan Smart at Hambleton.

He has never seen the horse – he only bought it after a chance conversation as Moviesta passed through the sales ring.