25 July 2011

Lukewarm praise for HK stewards' integrity crackdown

A graduate of the Ray Murrihy school, HKJC Chief Steward Kim Kelly's laser-like focus on integrity continues to be "touchy", "tricky", and "complicated" area for Hong Kong's racing media: South China Morning Post sums up the season past with only equivocal support for Kelly's crackdown on jockeys:
"It was in other areas where things got touchy and five applications of the rule requiring jockeys to take "all reasonable and permissible measures to win or obtain the best possible place in the field" was one. In the 10 seasons prior, 15 rides fell foul of the rule. It's tough on those five penalised - all were relicensed, so their integrity was not under question - but it continues to be a tricky area open to much personal interpretation. The other event was the HK$300,000 fine issued to Zac Purton in June after an inquiry found he had not taken the appropriate action of reporting two separate approaches from a punter, previously jailed for a similar offence, who wished to place bets on his behalf in return for tips. The matter was complicated as Purton had known the punter's brother in Sydney as a racing manager for Hong Kong owners, and he had loaned him money over their joint involvement in a business venture in Australia."

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