Top betting executive Phil Siers on Friday denied leaking "strictly confidential" business information to senior industry figure Warwick Bartlett during lunch in a restaurant two years ago.
Siers, who is being sued by his former employers Amalgamated Racing Ltd (Amrac) over the alleged leak of the "Oxera Summary" report, insisted that he and Bartlett simply enjoyed "a nice lunch with some wine" and that no secret information was disclosed.
But Edmund Cullen QC, for Racecourse Media Group Ltd (RMG) and Amrac, accused him of showing Bartlett "parts of the Oxera summary" over lunch.
The barrister pointed out "striking similarities" between a draft article penned by Bartlett for a newsletter on August 13 2010 - the day after the lunch - and the contents of the Oxera Summary.
The QC argued the reason for these similarities was that Siers had shown Bartlett sections of the report, prepared by Oxera Consulting Ltd and which gave details of Amrac's future strategy in relation to media rights.
"I didn't show him," insisted Siers, who added: "If this (the draft article) came from the Oxera document he didn't get it from me.
"I didn't have the Oxera document to show him."
The QC put to Siers that he leaked parts of the report because he was "concerned to get the message out there that TurfTV was intending to increase its prices".
Siers rejected the suggestion and told the court: "Everyone knew that TurfTV's prices were going up; it was the commercial reality."
Cullen pressed: "This was part of your strategy to take the pressure off yourself and increase the pressure on TurfTV?"
"It was not," Siers replied. "I didn't give him or show him any documents, and didn't tell him anything to do with this."
He also denied going on to send Bartlett a "full copy of the report", adding that he had "no idea" how Bartlett had acquired his information.
Siers described Bartlett as a "casual acquaintance" and their lunch meeting as "low level".
There was nothing sinister about their liaison, he insisted. It was a simple get-together over a glass of wine to discuss an earlier article penned by Bartlett.
Siers was testifying on the third day of the action brought by his former employers Amrac, over alleged disclosure of the "highly confidential report", which was commissioned by RMG, who are also suing Siers for alleged breach of his duty of confidentiality.
He was previously executive director of Amrac and played a key role in establishing TurfTV, Cullen told the court, before leaving the company in January 2010 "in acrimonious circumstances" to work for competitors SIS, although he has since moved on again.
Siers accepts that he saw a summary of the Oxera Report at a strategy meeting in December 2009 and took it away to read, said Mr Cullen. But he steadfastly denies claims that he leaked any of its contents or removed it when he left Amrac.
Asked about the significance of the Oxera Report in court on Friday, he commented: "I thought it was a document in which they had borrowed my watch and told me the time."
However, the High Court earlier heard evidence from Bartlett - a former director of SIS Holdings and chairman of the Association of British Bookmakers - who claimed that Siers had shown him parts of the summary.
Siers said he might have taken some other "modelling" documents to the lunch meeting with Mr Bartlett but insisted he had never shown them to him or discussed their contents.
But Cullen suggested he had raised the issue of the modelling documents because he was "trying to plant a seed in the judge's mind that this might have been a source of the article".
"I'm not suggesting that at all," Siers retorted.
The case will continue on Monday.