Now you know that the Stewards had been given information by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) about jockey James McDonald and his association with a big punter named Anthony Gardiner.
Why would the Crime Commission have known about that?
The ACIC is a Commonwealth crime intelligence gathering body. What business would it have had listening in on the phone calls of a NSW rider and punter, a putting surveillance on them?
There is a real problem with the McDonald betting case too.
Everyone assumes that J-Mac had $1000 of his own money on Astern.
He was even sentenced by the Stewards on this presumption, and the NSW Racing Appeal Panel relied on it too when upholding the 18 month disqualification that McDonald was handed down.
But no evidence was ever tendered – at any stage – to demonstrate that James McDonald had handed dodgy punter Anthony Gardiner $1000 for the bet.
The only evidence given and confirmed was that Gardiner put a $1000 bet on the winning horse Astern on McDonald’s behalf, and that Gardiner handed McDonald $4000 in cash which was the winning $1000 at 3-1, including the stake.
Gardiner refused to appear at the inquiry to give evidence.
McDonald pleaded guilty, so didn’t have to.
No-one asked him for his bank records, or any other document, to prove that the $1000 originally staked was his.
That’s because it wasn’t.
It was Gardiner’s.
James McDonald never had a bet at all.
He fooled the lot of them, and copped his punishment sweet.
Gardiner was warned off (banned for life) for failing to cooperate with the NSW Stewards during the McDonald inquiry.
In May last year McDonald resumed riding after serving his disqualification.
In April of this year Sally Snow was sacked.
In October, punter Anthony Gardiner turned up at the Racing NSW offices and said ” Gee Sir, I’m sorry I lied to you and refused to co-operate with your inquiry into the Astern affair. I’m a bad boy, I did but a grand on the horse for J-Mac. I really regret it, please let me back”.
The Stewards should have said “mate, you’re two years too late, you haven’t brought along the financial records we wanted showing whether James ever really gave you a grand, and you’re a sly-faced, lying, snake in the grass. Here, have a ten year DQ instead”.
Instead they said “Tony, tony, tone, naughty boy, we forgive you, don’t do it again”, and gave him time already served as a penalty, and let him back in.
Group 1 winning Victorian trainer Mark Riley is being refused a license in perpetuity after serving a DQ, because the Stewards say he lied to them during the inquiry that saw him outed, and as a consequence can’t be trusted and will never get back into the game again.
Riley fails the character test they say.
At least he turned up to the original inquiry, and handed over his records.
So how could he pass the test?
There is a one word answer.
Why do think J-Mac only copped 3 weeks on a running and handling charge, when for a century riders found guilty of this offence have been given 12 months?
In may the Queensland bush jockey Stanley Watkin copped 4 months out for the exact same offence committed in a lowly race at Emerald.
Bobby El’Issa got 2 years for Bold Glance.
Apprentice Baylee Nothdurft was smacked with 3 months for Vega One.
And J-Mac only gets three weeks?
Wouldn’t you think it would be obvious to the Stewards that they should seek punter Anthony Gardiner’s betting records for the day?
He’s punted for J-Mac before – or so they think – so why couldn’t he do it again?
After all, the jockey has just pulled one up.
Wouldn’t it be worthwhile checking whether Gardiner laid it, or bet around it?
Like I said, it appears obvious.
They didn’t do it.
Or so we are told.
I reckon there is a reason why the didn’t, or why we aren’t being told that they did, and it has nothing to do with incompetence.
James McDonald is a Kiwi don’t forget.
They are famous for scabbing.
I wonder if he’s rolled?
Let it Snow, let it Snow, let it Snow.