By Jon Lees
Australia: G1-winning jockey Ben Melham has been charged with betting-related offences after an investigation by stewards in Victoria.
On Monday Racing Victoria stewards announced that seven charges have been issued against the rider relating to alleged betting activity between March and September last year, contrary to his obligations under the rules of racing.
He has also been charged with providing false and/or misleading evidence during an interview in September 2019.
Melham’s partner Karlie Dales, a registered owner, is also facing one count of giving false or misleading evidence after saying only she deposited money into her betting account.
The charges allege bets were placed on a number of horses, some of which were ridden by Melham, including one which won, during the period under investigation.
The biggest involved a sum totalling A$14,600 (£7,500), before which Melham is alleged to have placed $3,000 cash into Dales’s betting account. None of the bets involved horses the jockey was due to ride against.
Melham, 32, is one of only three jockeys to ride the champion sprinter Black Caviar in her career, partnering the mare to both his and her first G1 victory in the Patinack Farm Classic in 2010.
His 17 G1 winners include the 2017 Golden Slipper on She Will Reign; his most recent top-level success came on Streets Of Avalon in the Futurity Stakes in February this year.
At the weekend he won the Listed VRC St Leger on Sacramento, trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. He is joint-fourth in the Melbourne metropolitan jockeys’ premiership with 37 wins.
The case will be heard by a Victoria Racing tribunal on a date to be fixed.