Four charged over race fix­ing al­le­ga­tions

Seymour Telegraph - - NEWS -

Sport­ing In­tegrity In­tel­li­gence Unit (SIIU) and Shep­par­ton de­tec­tives charged four prom­i­nent lo­cal har­ness rac­ing iden­ti­ties last week in re­la­tion to al­leged har­ness race fix­ing in north­ern Vic­to­ria.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors in­ter­viewed two men and two women in Au­gust last year fol­low­ing al­leged race fix­ing that oc­curred in Co­bram on June 22, 2015.

Lisa Bart­ley and Mark Pitt from Avenel and Nathan Jack and Amanda Turn­bull, who have sta­bles in Lem­nos and NSW, have been charged with en­gag­ing in con­duct that cor­rupts a bet­ting out­come and other re­lated of­fences.

They have all been sum­monsed to ap­pear at Shep­par­ton Mag­is­trates’ Court on Fe­bru­ary 20.

The group was ques­tioned af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the tac­tics adopted dur­ing the bet­ting on and run­ning of a race that was won by Air­bournemagic.

Air­bournemagic, driven by Pitt, was heav­ily sup­ported from $11 into $4.50 TAB Fixed Odds with pun­ters col­lect­ing about $30 000 on the sur­prise win­ner. Nathan Jack drove the horse that ran third. Har­ness Rac­ing Vic­to­ria is­sued a state­ment last week say­ing stew­ards would now de­cide whether to ban those charged from com­pet­ing in fu­ture races and/or can­cel their li­cences. Pitt, Bart­ley, Turn­bull and Jack have un­til this Thurs­day at 5 pm to make sub­mis­sions to HRV.

But HRV in its state­ment also cau­tioned that its stew­ards were mind­ful of the de­ci­sion of the HRV RAD Board Chair­man on Septem­ber 14, 2016, af­ter HRV stew­ards ini­tially sus­pended the li­cences of par­tic­i­pants af­ter they had been ar­rested by Vic­to­ria Po­lice on Au­gust 28, 2016.

In this de­ci­sion the RAD Board chair­man re­marked when re­in­stat­ing the li­cences of the in­di­vid­u­als:

‘‘No per­son is yet charged. Even charges of them­selves carry lit­tle weight as it is the ev­i­dence un­der­ly­ing those charges which be­comes rel­e­vant. They (stew­ards) in­voke quite rightly, the need to main­tain and pro­tect the in­dus­try and the need to pre­serve pub­lic con­fi­dence in the in­dus­try. That how­ever must be bal­anced against the dam­age to liveli­hood and rep­u­ta­tion of the ap­pli­cants.’’

Any per­son wish­ing to re­port sport cor­rup­tion within the rac­ing in­dus­try or other sports is urged to con­tact Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000 or make a con­fi­den­tial re­port at www.crimestop­persvic.com.au

Pic­ture: Stu­art McCormick/HRV

On track: Avenel driver Mark Pitt in ac­tion.

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