Theage.com.au report said that up to four jockeys along with professional punters and other racing identities were now under investigation and that authorities were also examining corruption allegations linked to several other horse races.
One allegation allegedly involves a senior jockey who bet thousands of dollars on another horse to win a race in which the jockey was riding. The race was at a metropolitan Melbourne track within the past two years.
The report quoted a source from Betfair as saying that they confirmed that a major investigation was being conducted into suspicious ”lay betting” involving more than two dozen races and another leading jockey.
The source was quoted as saying: ”We have been aware of it for some time and we have told the authorities……It is the most serious case we have at the moment.”
Betfair’s statement said: “Betfair has made no secret of its obligation, and willingness, to provide authorities with records of betting transactions they believe are relevant to an investigation. This is a fundamental principle of protecting the integrity of racing and sport.
“We have provided a number of betting records to investigative authorities. Contrary to what has been reported today, these records do not relate specifically to ‘lay betting’ nor has Betfair launched any investigation into ‘lay betting’ activity.
“This article also mentions an unnamed Betfair source. These quotes are not accounted for and do not in any way represent Betfair’s position.
“As a matter of policy, Betfair does not make public comment on specific investigations.”
NSW on Tuesday became the first Australian racing jurisdiction to announce the introduction of race fixing laws, which will carry a 10-year jail penalty.
On August 6th Victorian police formally announced a $1 million reward for information leading to an arrest in the investigation of the killing of former trainer and bloodstock buyer Les Samba.
Samba, 60, was shot dead in an execution style killing in the Melbourne suburb of Middle Park on February 27th, 2011, and to-date no one has been charged with the killing.
Police confirmed that the murder investigation into Samba’s death had widened into an allegation of race fixing into a race won by Smoking Aces at Cranbourne on April 27th, 2011.
Smoking Aces, ridden by Samba’s former son-in-law Danny Nikolic, won the Rst62 over 1200m by 1 1/2L in the now six-year-old gelding’s first race in over seven months. There has been no suggestion by any of the parties in the investigation that Nikolic is involved with Samba’s murder.
The jockey has faced no action from Racing Victoria on the ride and continues to ride including Smoking Ace’s last two races at Seymour on August 5th and Cranbourne on August 12th where the six-year-old was last in both races.
The race fixing allegation is being investigated by the Victorian Purana organised crime taskforce.