Ron Dawson's funeral today

THE funeral service of Ron Dawson, the one time Newmarket-based tipster who served a jail term for his part in the ill-fated Classic Bloodstock racehorse ownership syndicate, will be held today at West Suffolk crematorium.

Mr Dawson died at Addenbrooke's hospital last week after a long illness. He was 68.

Living in Brandon after returning from Spain where he had spent a number of years, Mr Dawson, along with his son Tim, had been warned off racing for 10 years in 1998 for a string of offences, including bring racing into disrepute.

Three years later, at Basildon Crown Court, he had received a 12-month jail term after being found guilty of conspiring to defraud thousands of shareholders in Classic Bloodstock II.

Mr Dawson had originally come to Newmarket in the 1960s when he set up his tipping business. In 1985, he established Newmarket Racing and had 12 horses in training with his partner Kevin Moorcroft, whose ex-wife Maureen he later married.

The partnership bought Charnwood Stables in Hamilton Road, which became the base for Dawson's ill-fated Classic Bloodstock operation, which was launched in 1994. Share issues in both Classic Bloodstock I and II amassed more than 5 million but it subsequently emerged that only 1.3 million was used to buy racehorses.

A Department of Trade investigation was launched when the company's accounts were not produced and Classic Bloodstock II was liquidated in 1997, leaving investors with just 2 of their 500 investment.

During Mr Dawson's trial, the court was told that Classic Bloodstock II had been set up as "a vehicle for dishonesty."