Tuesday, 30 October 2007
: Sydney's chief steward Ray Murrihy has told a London court he had concerns about riding tactics in 13 races under scrutiny in the race fixing trial involving three jockeys including six-times UK champion Keiren Fallon.
| Ray Murrihy|
Photo by Racing and Sports
Murrihy appeared as a prosecution witness after London Police asked him give an independent opinion on races said to be involved in a betting scam organised by a UK punting syndicate.
Fallon and five others are accused of conspiring to gain financial advantage from horses losing in 27 races run in England between December 2002 and August 2004.
Murrihy told the Old Bailey he had concerns about 13 out of 27 races he had been asked to view by police investigators.
He said he would have called a stewards' inquiry in each case and asked the jockey and trainer to explain their tactics.
Murrihy told the court there was one controversial race in which Fallon's mount Ballinger Ridge lost after having a huge lead with a furlong to run.
He said there was no reason why Ballinger Ridge had slowed "dramatically" and lost momentum after Fallon appeared to drop his hands.
"I am in no doubt he should have won. It was a quite extraordinary ride," said Murrihy, who gave his views after the jury were shown video footage of the race.
"I do not think I have seen in my experience a horse ease down in that part of the race and it undoubtedly cost him the win."
Fallon had told the court he did not realise how close the other horses were to Ballinger Ridge during the Lingfield race.
Murrihy identified another race at Lingfield where accused jockey Darren Williams, riding Legal Set, had come third after failing to take advantage of a gap in the field.
"He elected to stay behind the wall of horses," Murrihy said.
Murrihy said another horse, ridden by the accused Fergal Lynch, lost a race at Southwell after a "stark ride devoid of vigour".
Six defendants including the three jockeys deny conspiracy to defraud customers of the internet betting exchange Betfair.
The prosecution claim the conspiracy was led by South Yorkshire businessman Miles Rodgers, who laid bets - or bet to lose - on the internet exchange Betfair.
The trial continues.