Top Melbourne jockey Ben Melham disqualified for five months for betting

Horse Racing Ben Melham jockey betting offences
Ben Melham: G1-winning jockey given five-month ban for betting. Photo: Racing and Sports

By Jon Lees

Australia: Multiple G1-winning jockey Ben Melham has been disqualified for five months after admitting betting offences.

The 32-year-old rider’s conduct was described as “reprehensible” by Victorian Racing Tribunal chairman Judge John Bowman as he announced an immediate ban until May 2021 after Melham pleaded guilty to four charges, three relating to betting and one for giving false evidence.

Melham is one of the leading riders in Melbourne where he is fifth in the Metropolitan standings. He had been facing a mandatory two-year ban but the most serious of the charges, for betting in races he was riding in, were withdrawn by Racing Victoria stewards at the start of the three-day hearing.

Melham was found to have placed A$3,000 (£1,600) into the account of his partner Karlie Dales and placed bets totalling A$36,000 (£20,300) in March and May 2019. In one four-hour session at a hotel he placed 20 bets on horse racing. He was sidelined with an injury at the time.

Melham 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.

He has ridden over 1,200 winners and 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.

• Visit the Racing Victoria website

Winner to sinner: controversial trainer Eric Guillot barred amid outrage over racially offensive horse name

Maija Vance: five spinal injuries, 13 rib fractures – but now jockey is riding work again

William Haggas plots second trip to Australia for Addeybb – with Saudi Cup as back-up option

Thanks for the memories: mighty mare Magical retired – and this time it’s for real

New Zealand: top jockey Jason Waddell charged with threatening to kill racing chief

On the record: the Arima Kinen, Grant Behr, Anna Jordsjo and more …

Frankel on G1 scoresheet as his son Grenadier Guards breaks track record in Japan

World top 20 racehorses | World top jockeys and trainers

Visit the Horse Racing Planet home page for more great racing stuff