18 October 2012

Leading stipe Murrihy dead against jockeys betting

ATC Chief Steward Ray Murrihy has slammed suggestions that jockeys should be allowed to legally bet on their own mounts, warning that both integrity and safety would be compromised.
"It alarms me to see some very ill-informed comments around in this area," Murrihy told Turf Confidential. "The idea that any of the current problems we've seen in the news will be solved by allowing jockeys to bet on their own mounts is in my view a very short sighted approach."
In the wake of the weekend's allegations that Damien Oliver placed a $10,000 bet on a rival mount, there has been a steady stream of calls to change the rules of racing to allow jockeys to bet on their own mounts.

Murrihy, the most respected and experienced steward in Australia, is having none of it.
"I can imagine scores of scenarios in which this could seriously undermine confidence in racing and integrity," said Murrihy.
"For instance, say a jockey had ten thousand on his mount one week when it won and then didn't back it a week later when the same horse lost. I'm sure both punters and the stewards would both be very concerned to see things like that. 
Safety in races would also come under undue pressure in Murrihy's view:
"Imagine if a rider seeking a greater reward after backing his own mount caused another runner to fall and one of his fellow riders to be badly injured? This is a very misinformed suggestion.
"The rules in this area have served us well for over 100 years and I would vehemently oppose any proposition to change them to allow jockeys to bet." 

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