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Disgraced New Zealand jockey gets seven-year ban

Fri, Sep 19, 9:44am by Daryl Curnow

WalkerA NEW Zealand jockey has been slapped with a seven year ban for knowingly placing two bets on separate horses this year.

AustralianGambling reported last month that David Walker had allegedly pulled up his mount Watch Your Man because he had punted on a opposition horse.

After an investigation by the Racing Integrity Unit, Walker has since admitted to placing two bets, one of $640 and the other just over $500, but he is adamant that he rode his horses out to their full extent.

The bets were made on the head-to-head option where punters can choose between two horses, neither have to finish in the money to collect.

The RIU found Walker guilty of deliberately restraining his mount in a race that took place at Otaki in August. After a lengthy hearing which took place at Trentham racecourse yesterday, a non-race day judicial committee found Walker guilty and banned him from riding for seven years.

Walker was found not guilty of restraining his horse in an earlier ride at Waverley on July 31 due to a lack of evidence but he did admit to placing a bet in that race. Walker used the excuse that he suffered cramp in his right hand, preventing him from riding out his mount, but committee chair Murray McKechnie said it is a remarkable coincidence the only time in his career when he suffered cramp in his hand, was in a race he had placed a bet in.

Walker told the committee yesterday he placed the bets against his horse because he was under financial pressure and was embarrassed he couldn’t provide for his family which is what most experts were presuming as to the reason for placing these bets.

RIU stipendiary steward Ross Neal requested the committee impose a 10-year ban as a powerful deterrent to anyone considering similar actions.

“There is no worse offence a rider can commit than stopping a horse,” said Mr Neal. “This was a planned act done for reward.”

McKechnie issued a seven-year ban with a $3000 fine to be paid to the RIU and Judicial Control Authority for costs associated with the hearing and investigation.

Mr Walker was not present at the hearing.

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