Leading jockey Nash Rawiller banned for 15 months for breaching betting rules
Preparations for one of Hong Kong’s biggest race meetings of the season, Sunday’s inaugural Champions Day at Sha Tin, have been rocked by the announcement on Wednesday that jockey Nash Rawiller has been banned for 15 months after being implicated in a betting-related scandal.
Australian Rawiller, 43, who was due to ride Mr Stunning, 2-1 joint favourite with bet365, for trainer John Size in the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize at the weekend, was found guilty of passing on tips about and having an interest in bets on horses he rode for “pecuniary or other gifts or other considerations”.
No details of the particular incidents were given in the official stewards’ report, but the statement made clear that Rawiller had only tipped horses ridden by him and never those he had ridden against, and there was no evidence he had stopped horses. The ban starts immediately.
Rawiller, who did not enter a plea to the charges, was found guilty of having broken two separate Hong Kong Jockey Club rules and was banned for 15 months on each, the two periods of disqualification to be served concurrently. His ban will end on July 25 next year.
“In mitigation, the stewards also took into consideration, amongst other relevant matters, that Rawiller had at all times co-operated fully with the interview and inquiry and that he had been forthright in his evidence.”
From a well-known racing family and a three-time champion jockey in Sydney, Rawiller relocated to Hong Kong in September 2014 and has ridden 134 winners there, taking his career total to more than 2,000, including over 50 Group 1 successes.
His last complete season in Hong Kong ended prematurely in April 2017 with a serious fall in which he dislocated his shoulder and sustained fractures to his vertebra and foot. He has returned with 40 winners this term, putting him third in the title race behind Joao Moreira and Zac Purton.
In a statement issued by the HKJC, executive director for racing Andrew Harding said: “The Club’s handling of this matter demonstrates the expert nature and strength of the Club’s systems for the prevention and detection of breaches of the rules of racing, and our unwavering resolve to ensure the highest standards of the integrity in Hong Kong racing.”
The statement added that the HKJC would be seeking international reciprocation of the penalty imposed on Rawiller.
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