Godolphin to support embattled James McDonald

James McDonald enjoyed a successful spell in Britain earlier this year

PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos) Godolphin to support embattled McDonald
By Mark Scully 8:00AM 16 NOV 2016

Australia: Godolphin says it "will continue to support" jockey James McDonald as he faces charges relating to either betting on, or being involved in a bet on a horse last year.

The Sydney-based rider, who has enjoyed great success both at home and abroad this year, has voluntarily stood himself down from riding until the inquiry is concluded.

McDonald, the number one rider for Godolphin in Australia, could face a two-year ban if found guilty after Racing Australia introduced the mandatory minimum sentence in 2013.

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In a statement released on Tuesday, Godolphin acknowledged the Racing New South Wales investigation and said: "[McDonald's] decision to step down from riding, pending the outcome of the investigation, is the right one. We will continue to support him throughout this process.

"Prior to the outcome of the enquiry, and in order not to prejudice the findings, we will make no further comment."

Race in question

The charge against McDonald relates to the debut of the Godolphin-owned Astern, who started his career at Randwick last December.

Racing New South Wales stewards claimed they had received intelligence that McDonald had an interest in a bet on the then juvenile, who made a winning debut, scoring by two-and-a-half lengths.

They conducted an interview with McDonald on Tuesday, which centred around his association with a known punter and the betting activities of that punter.

McDonald was charged under rule AR83(d), which states: "Every jockey or apprentice may be penalised – (d) If he bet, or has any interest in a bet on any race, or contingency relating to Thoroughbred racing involving a race in which he is riding. For the purposes of this rule, bet includes a lay bet (as defined in AR175B (7))."

A date for the inquiry has yet to be set.

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