‘Racing Rant’ pundits fined for suggesting jockey James McDonald had been betting

Horse Racing James McDonald jockey
James McDonald: Sydney champion was the subject of defamatory comments by pundits on Racing Rant. Photo: Trish Dunell

By Jon Lees

Australia: Two controversial Australian racing pundits have been fined over comments that stewards said could suggest Sydney’s champion jockey James McDonald had been betting.

Glenn Pollett and Marc Lambourne were found guilty by Racing NSW of conduct prejudicial to the image of racing over remarks made on their subscriber-only online show Racing Rant in April.

After McDonald gave an interview following a G3 win at Randwick, Pollett said: “JMac’s got to be careful … as he’s talking you can see he’s had $1,500 each-way on it or something.”

He added: “If you love a bet, you don’t stop betting.”

McDonald was disqualified for 18 months in 2016 for betting when he was found to have won A$4,000 (£2,220) on a horse he had ridden to victory.

Punters Pollett and Lambourne, who denied the charges, claimed the comments were meant as a joke and the programme was only distributed to 660 subscribers.

On their blog in May, Racing Rant posted: “Racing NSW has now decided to take our private and ‘fun discussion’ among ourselves to the general public and eventually, the courts.”

The stewards ruled that the comments “would give rise to a particular suspicion in the mind of a reasonable person that jockey James McDonald was betting” in breach of the rules and with no evidence to support the allegations.

Pollett was fined A$5,000 (£2,775) and Lambourne a total of A$6,000 (£3,330). Both had been fined in the past for making improper comments.

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