New Zealand jockey charged with betting on rival horse

New Zealand jockey charged with betting on rival horse

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - New Zealand jockey David Walker has been charged with betting on a rival horse and restraining his own mount to ensure he won the wager in a race at Palmerston North two weeks ago.

The 38-year-old was riding "Watch Your Man" when it finished more than two-and-a-half lengths behind "St Ransom" at the race at the Awapuni course on Aug. 16.

"It is the Race Integrity Unit (RIU)'s contention that Mr Walker placed bets on another horse "St Ransom" and deliberately rode his horse to ensure his bets were successful," the RIU said in a statement on Thursday.

Local rules allow jockeys to bet on races they are involved in but only on the horse they are riding and Walker faces a lengthy ban, even perhaps for life, if found guilty.

RIU general manager Mike Godber has recommended to New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing that Walker's racing licence be suspended pending the investigation.

"The allegations before Mr Walker are serious and threaten the very fabric of thoroughbred racing," he said.

"We therefore consider the continued participation of Mr Walker in racing prior to the hearing would pose an unacceptable risk to the image, interests and integrity of racing."

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