By Jon Lees
New Zealand: One of New Zealand’s top jockeys is facing serious criminal charges after appearing in court on allegations he made threats, including one to kill, against two of the country’s leading racing figures.
Multiple G1-winning rider Jason Waddell, 34, did not enter a plea to charges that he posted a digital communication with intent to cause harm to Te Akau Racing boss David Ellis and made a threat to kill Waikato Racing Club chief executive Andrew Castles.
Waddell was bailed to reappear at Hamilton District Court in the New Year.
Waddell has ridden more than 700 winners and enjoyed a highly successful start to 2020 when he rode three G1 winners, including success in the New Zealand Oaks on Jennifer Eccles.
He was set to partner the filly in a G1 on her seasonal comeback at Hastings in September but was stood down after being unable to provide a urine sample for a drug test. He has not ridden since.
The jockey has had a chequered career. He was given a 14-month ban in 2010 when he tested positive for methamphetamine and was handed a 12-month sentence in 2015 after he was found guilty of causing deliberate interference to a horse ridden by Samantha Collett, which it was alleged could have put her in a wheelchair.
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