Three jockeys have been arrested after an 18-year-old girl alleged she was gang raped and left badly injured at a late-night party.
Brendan Powell Jnr, 21, is said to have attacked her at his home with Irish jockeys Sean Mooney and Richard Condon, both 20.
Police stormed into a racecourse weighing room to arrest one of three three jockeys accused of raping the girl, it emerged last night.
Sean Mooney, 20, was scheduled to race at Doncaster on Saturday but was grabbed by officers as he arrived to be weighed and hauled off for questioning.
He is accused, along with Brendan Powell Jnr, 21, and Richard Condon, 20, of leaving the girl with appalling injuries during the attack at Powell Jnr’s house.
They are all alleged to be part of a group that went to the home of Powell Jnr — the son of a Grand National winner and leading trainer — in Chiseldon, Swindon, for a party on Thursday.
The girl returned to her home in Surrey the following morning and went to a local police station.
A dramatic nationwide police operation was then launched to arrest the men as soon as possible to preserve any DNA evidence over the alleged offence.
Powell Jnr was arrested at his home along with Irish jockey Condon, who races for trainer Neil King at his stables on the Marlborough Downs in Wiltshire.
Mooney, meanwhile, was arrested in Doncaster, South Yorks, where he was meant to be riding Cincuenta Pasos in an apprentice handicap at 4.05pm.
Another jockey was hastily shuffled in to replace Mooney as he was driven to a police station.
Powell Jnr was to ride Our Reward in a National Hunt novices hurdle race at Liverpool’s Aintree course on Saturday.
He was also replaced by a stand-in because he was in police custody at the time of the race.
Powell Jnr turned professional at just 16 and has already enjoyed 14 winners this season.
He races as a freelance, having recently left Colin Tizzard’s Milborne Port stables near Sherborne, Dorset.
All three were arrested on suspicion of rape and released on bail until a date in late December pending further inquiries.
News of the rape case will send shockwaves through the close-knit world of horse racing.
One source said: “They are all very good jockeys and very popular. It will come as a huge shock to punters and everyone who knows them.”
Powell’s father Brendan Powell Snr won the 1988 Grand National on Rhyme ‘N’ Reason and is now a trainer at Frenchmans Lodge Stables in Lambourn, Berks.
When approached for a comment a woman at the stables said yesterday:
“We know what you’re about. Can you go please?”
Mooney, who is originally from Dublin, rides for trainer Joseph Tuite at his Felstead Court Stable in Lambourn.
One stable worker said: “It has left everyone here numb. We all work hard and there is a close-knit and very friendly scene.”
The rape investigation is being carried out by Wiltshire Police.
A force spokeswoman said:
“Detectives are investigating an allegation of rape of an 18-year-old woman on November 3 in Chiseldon, Swindon.
“Two men, aged 21 and 20, were arrested on November 4 and a third man, aged 20, was arrested on November 5.
They have been bailed to December.”
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