|Information provided by Betfair has led to the arrests of champion jockey, Kieren Fallon, and journeyman riders, Fergal Lynch and Darren Williams, in dawn raids this morning. |
While, the Jockey Club has, in the past, used data supplied by the betting exchange’s to launch its own disciplinary proceedings against individuals suspected of corruption, this is the first time such information has led to arrests.
Betfair, eager to stamp out race fixing and to answer its detractors who accuse the exchange of facilitating such corruption, is understood to have tipped off the Jockey Club following the emergence of ‘suspicious betting patterns’ involving up to eighty races over the last two years. The company employs forty members of staff to monitor its records for anything that mightlook unusual or untoward wagering sequences and is now understood to be working closely with police and the JC.
According to the Evening Standard, the first suggestion as to the identity of the arrestees appeared on Betfair.com this morning when Fallon, who had been odds-on favourite for the Flat Jockeys' Championship, suddenly drifted to 2-1.
Widespread suspicion first centred on Fallon last March at Lingfield when, the jockey, riding Ballanger Ridge, was 10 lengths clear coming into the home turn, but eased up dramatically and appeared to throw the race. Betfair immediately reported suspicious patterns to the JC.
Nevertheless, earlier today the Jockey’s Union has said it will stand by the riders. The Jockey’s Association’s Chief Executive, John Blake told Sky News: “We represent all the professional jockeys in the country and are offering support to the jockeys as we speak, although I don't actually know where two of them are being held. As soon as that information is released we will ensure that they are represented straight away.”