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Jockey Club seeks to oust race-fixers

The Jockey Club is hoping to get to the bottom of three races which have made headlines with race-fixing allegations over the past eight months.

John McCracken, a former associate of Brian Wright – a name the media has linked with drugs running and race-fixing – is, according to the Racing Post, alleged to be at the centre of the three incidents. Several other individuals, including jump jockeys, are thought to have been named in evidence submitted by investigators.

Jockey Club spokesman Owen Byrne explained that evidence was now being considered by a senior member of racing’s disciplinary body: “It is my understanding that our Security Department has now submitted a report of its investigations into the activities of John McCracken.

“This will be considered by Sir Michael Connell, the deputy Senior Steward, acting in his “DPP” role, who ultimately decides what is put before the Disciplinary Panel and recommends what, if any, charges are brought.”

The three races which are being investigated in relation to McCracken all involved horses who started favourite in their respective races, but whose odds drifted significantly before the off.

  • Red Lancer started as favourite for a Selling Stakes at Wolverhampton in October, having won a similar selling race on Wolverhampton’s all-weather track just one month previously. But his odds drifted and the horse got left at the stalls, eventually finishing ninth out of eleven.
  • At Leicester in February, stewards were warned by Jockey Club officials to keep a close eye on Marcus Foley’s mount Tollbrae following information received from bookmakers and betting exchanges. Some very ropey jumping left the horse with a great deal of distance to make up, but he did eventually pull up into second place behind chaser Venn Ottery.
  • Jockey Sean Fox “jumped off” his mount Ice Saint when the horse was making his debut over fences. Ice Saint started favourite, but drifted in the market to eventually set off at the longest odds.
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