Jockey head-to-head betting scandal deepens

BARRY LICHTER
Last updated 14:31 03/09/2014
David Walker
ROBERT KITCHIN/Fairfax NZ
UNDER FIRE: Disgraced jockey David Walker.

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The jockey betting scandal deepened today with revelations that David Walker will face a second charge of betting on a rival horse and pulling up his own mount.

Racing Integrity Unit investigators revealed last week they were digging back into video replays of recent races Walker has ridden in after he was charged with betting against his mount Watch Your Man at Awapuni on August 16 in a head-to-head bet and deliberately not riding his own horse out.

The earlier charge related to claims Walker wagered more than $500 on race rival St Ransom, that his activities were captured on CCTV camera footage, and that he collected when his mount ran second last, 2.7 lengths behind St Ransom.

But in a discovery that will further shock the industry, Walker has now admitted taking an earlier head-to-head bet at Waverley on July 31.

Walker rode the Stacey Dougan-trained Lil Mer in the Winter Cup, and beat only two horses home, collecting from backing rival Sam I Am, who finished seventh, four lengths ahead of him.

RIU operations manager Mike Godber said to Fairfax Media that Walker had formally admitted both charges of betting on a horse other than the one he was riding, but he will defend the charge of pulling up both horses. 

Walker told stipendiary stewards on the day at Awapuni that he had been unable to ride out Watch Your Man because he got cramp in his right hand.

Stewards opened an inquiry into the race, concerned at the lack of vigour he showed all the way up the home straight.

It is not known what reason Walker has offered for the earlier ride on Lil Mer.

If found guilty under rule 801, which involves committing a dishonest and fraudulent act, Walker could be disqualified for any period up to life.

The RIU is continuing to investigate Walker for further breaches in advance of his hearing which has been set down for September 18.

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