trial of Kieren Fallon, the former champion jockey, and five other men,
including the jockeys Fergal Lynch and Darren Williams, on a charge of
conspiracy to defraud customers of the Betfair betting exchange is due to begin
at the Old Bailey in London this morning.
Fallon, Lynch and Williams
will face the charge along with Miles Rodgers, a businessman and former
racehorse owner, Shaun Lynch, who is the brother of Fergal Lynch, and Philip
Sherkle. The first week of the case is likely to be taken up by legal
arguments, with the first witnesses not expected to give evidence until next
Charges were laid against Fallon and his fellow defendants in
July 2006 following an investigation into alleged race-fixing by the City of
London police. The charges relate to a number of races that took place between
December 1 2002 and September 2 2004.
The six are charged with conspiracy to defraud in
that they agreed "not to permit divers horses ridden by Fergal Lynch and/or
Kieren Fallon and/or Darren Williams to run on their merits in that riding
practices would, if necessary, be used which would interfere with the running
of those horses and thereby affect the result of those races, and then . . .
laying those horses to lose on the exchange provided by Betfair Limited for
betting transactions conducted between its account holders".
of the jockeys charged in connection with the investigation were immediately
suspended from riding in Britain, pending the result of the trial, by the
Horseracing Regulatory Authority, which is now part of the British Horseracing