|Itís the story that has rocked UK racing: Kieron Fallon, the UK champion jockey, predicted the winner of the controversial race in which he amazingly let a huge lead slip, prompting widespread concerns over the integrity of UK horse racing. |
The UK scandal sheet The News of The World sent undercover reporters to pose as foreign high rollers, to arrange a meeting with Fallon. This was arranged for the Dorchester Hotel in London, where Fallon allegedly told the reporters that as long as they didnít pay him directly, he could give them information that would allow them to clean up on certain races. He gave the reporters 10 tips, of which seven won, and two placed, with only one loser.
When the reporters called three hours before the Lingfield race last Tuesday, Fallon allegedly told the reporters that another horse, Rye, would win the televised 3.30pm race at Lingfield. Fallon was riding Ballinger Ridge in that race, and was well clear within sight of the finishing post when the horse slowed down, allowing Rye to pip him at the post. Punters were outraged.
Suspicious betting patterns were observed by the Jockey Club, the UKís horse racing authority, shortly before the race started. Online betting exchange Betfair said at the time that the betting patterns donít necessarily indicate corruption, with other factors such as the 10 minutes delay possibly accounting for the patterns. Fallon said on Friday that he was innocent of any wrongdoing, but when confronted by the undercover reporters, his alleged response was: ďIím f*cked!Ē
Fallon now faces investigation by the Jockey Clubís disciplinary panel. The Jockey Club now plans to join the Crimestoppers program, an anonymous tip off hotline, even though the Club has its own anonymous phone line, which offers up to £10,000 for information leading to successful prosecutions.