Three jockeys, including champion jockey Kieren Fallon are among 16 people who have been arrested by police as part of an investigation into alleged race-fixing, according to the BBC.
Dawn raids took place this morning at addresses in Suffolk, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Hertfordshire, resulting in 16 arrests for alleged conspiracy to defraud.
The other two jockeys to have been arrested in the operation are Fergal Lynch and Darren Williams, while trainer Karl Burke is also being held in custody in connection with the investigation.
“Earlier this year it became apparent that what had started out as an investigation into possible breaches of the Rules of Racing had uncovered evidence which indicated criminal activity which could undermine the integrity of horseracing”, explained Paul Scotney, who heads the Jockey Club’s Security Department.
“Consequently, we decided to refer the matter to the City of London Police, our decision also took account of the fact that the Jockey Club has no powers of search or arrest and has very limited powers when investigating individuals not bound by the Rules of Racing at the Jockey Club.”
City of London Police Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Wilmott, the officer in charge of the operation, states “Of the people we have arrested three are jockeys and one is a horse trainer. We have amassed a large amount of information, including computer records and documentation seized today, and will now commence the detailed task of examining it all”.
The allegations are believed to involve more than 80 races over the last two years, a figure which calls to mind the words uttered by Ladbroke’s Chief Executive Chris Bell in May, that at least one race a day in Britain is fixed.
This latest sting operation follows a series of high-profile incidents this year which have plagued racing. Kieren Fallon himself was banned for 21 days in March for “failing to obtain the best possible placing” at a Lingfield meeting.
Furthermore, allegations involving the champion jockey were subsequently made by The News of the World, and Fallon is due, along with colleague John Egan, to face a Jockey Club disciplinary panel later this month to establish whether they acted in a manner “which was prejudicial to the integrity and good reputation of horseracing in Great Britain”.
The Jockey Club meanwhile announced in June that it was taking steps to get to the bottom of controversial rumours about race-fixing, including the incident when jockey Sean Fox apparently jumped off his mount in the middle of a race.