Jockey blames hand cramp after landing bet on rival

David Walker

David Walker: facing corruption charges over ride

New Zealand: Leading jockey David Walker could face a lifetime ban from the saddle and has had his licence withdrawn with immediate effect as he faces charges of pulling up a horse so he could collect from betting on a rival in the same race.

Unlike in other countries, jockeys in New Zealand are allowed to bet on horses they ride, but it is alleged Walker bet on rival St Ransom in a race at Awapuni on August 16 in a head-to-head bet with his own mount, Watch Your Man.

Stewards questioned the ride given by Walker, as he he restrained Watch Your Man at the rear of the field, then running wide on the turn for home and improving, before running in behind horses up the straight.

The horse, who won last time out, beat only rival home, with St Ransom nearly three lengths ahead, having been given a strong ride up the straight.

Subsequent investigations by the racing integrity unit found Walker had placed bet in excess of NZ $500, and he was later captured on CCTV collecting his winnings.

Walker told the stewards he was unable to give the horse a strong ride as he was suffering from cramp in his hands, and he is understood to have admitted placing the bet on St Ransom.

Other rides given by Walker are now being investigated by the New Zealand racing authority, but with his licence withdrawn he has already a lost a high-profile ride aboard Scapolo, one of the favourites for Saturday’s Makfi Stakes.


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