Phoenix denies allegations against owner

Keith Hamer

Phoenix Thoroughbreds has issued a categorical denial and vowed to vigorously challenge any suggestions of wrongdoing after allegations against their founder, Amer Abdulaziz.

The Dubai-based businessman, owner of Phoenix Fund Investments, has reportedly been named in legal proceedings in the United States.

Phoenix has released a statement following publication of allegations reportedly made in a New York court, involving a cryptocurrency fraud to the value of 100 million dollars - dating back before the launch of the racehorse ownership enterprise.

"Phoenix Fund Investments LLC categorically denies all allegations made against it, and its owner, Mr Amer Abdulaziz, in legal proceedings against OneCoin and its conspirators in the US," the statement said.

"Phoenix Fund Investments LLC believes that the firm and Mr Amer Abdulaziz have acted according to the law at all times, and will vigorously contest all allegations of wrongdoing.

"Phoenix Fund Investments LLC will fully cooperate with relevant authorities should they require any assistance.

"Phoenix Fund Investments LLC is currently seeking legal advice and will take appropriate action against those involved in the publication of false and defamatory statements."

Phoenix Thoroughbreds has grown as a force in British racing, as well as overseas, despite being formed only in 2017.

The ownership syndicate's best-known horse is Advertise, winner of the Group One Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville this summer.

The three-year-old was retired at the end of the season to stand at the National Stud in Newmarket.

A British Horseracing Authority spokesman also issued a statement following publication of the allegations.

"The BHA is aware of the allegations which are emanating from a criminal case in the United States," the governing body said.

"We are in contact with the appropriate authorities and are continuing to make inquiries as a priority. We cannot comment further on the specifics of this case at this time.

"More generally, British racing takes its reputation - and its responsibility to protect its participants from potentially corrupt activity - very seriously.

"Wide-ranging criteria are in place for the suitability of those involved in the sport, and every application for registration as an owner is assessed in line with these criteria.

"If an individual is found to have acted in a manner which makes them unsuitable to be an owner then their registration can be rescinded. There are also strict rules against engaging in conduct which is prejudicial to the sport's good reputation."

Phoenix is listed as the owner of Australian Group One winner Loving Gaby and part-owner of Exceedance.