Jockeys suspended for gambling info

Tony Culhane, a leading jockey on the northern circuit, and Dean Mernagh have been suspended from racing for one year and nine months respectively after both were found guilty of providing inside information for the purpose of making money on online betting exchanges.

The Horseracing Regulatory Authority (HRA) found Colhane was guilty of a rule that bans aiding or abetting individuals to lay or back a horse if they have inside information. Also punished were Culhane’s brother-in-law-, Gary Lyons (a former jockey himself) and Culhane’s father-in-law, Dave Watkins.

The HRA discovered in their investigation, which covered 37 races between July 2003 and February 2004, that the information was passed to Mr Lyons from Culhane and Mernagh and then used on online betting accounts at Betdaq and Betfair held by Mr Watkins.

The accounts made a profit of £56,000 over the investigated period, with £311,000 risked.

Mr Watkins has been warned-off (essentially banned) for five years for using such information for financial gain on betting exchanges. Mr Lyons was banned for two years on similar charges.

However, although Culhane is said to have made no profit from the scam, Mernagh received £2000 for providing information on ten races.
Legal representative to both men, Phil Williams, says that they are disappointed with the outcome but will consider their next move.

"They will both consider the appropriateness of the penalties imposed when they have full written reasons. They may appeal."

Editor, - 2007-07-10 11:54:28

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