British jockey Harry Bentley has been fined more than £30,000 and banned for two months after he pleaded guilty to "improper conduct".
Bentley, 31, has been blocked from all racing since 3rd November. He has now been fined for passing on information about horses he was riding in return for potential financial reward, although he never saw the money.
Stewards said that Bentley, who rides in Hong Kong, spoke to an individual – who was not the owner or associated with the horses in any way – on the phone about his horse. The pair agreed Bentley would be paid for his information, but he never received any cash.
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HKJC chief steward Marc van Gestel said in a statement: "In determining penalty, the stewards took into consideration his guilty plea.
"The nature and circumstances of the breach, including that the evidence established that Mr Bentley did not receive the payment as detailed, Mr Bentley’s personal and professional circumstances at the time of the offence and his unblemished record in relation to similar offences.
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"In the circumstances, Mr Bentley’s jockey licence to ride in races was suspended for a period of two months to commence on November 3 2023, the day he was stood down by the stewards under Rule 12 (15), and to expire on January 3 2024.
"In addition, Mr Bentley was fined a sum of HK$300,000 (£31,379)."
Bentley released his own statement on Tuesday morning. It read: "I would like to thank the Hong Kong Jockey Club for their close consideration throughout the steward's inquiry regarding an isolated incident which occurred when I was new to Hong Kong and the racing scene.
"I want to be extremely clear that this charge is in no way related to giving tips, betting, wagering, race fixing or accepting payment ahead of race riding. I ask that the public trust in the Hong Kong Jockey Club's decision and have confidence that if this was the case I would not have received the penalty I have.
"I have always tried to get the best position for my horse – that has never been in question. I accept that I should have done more research on the Rules in Hong Kong and I will endeavour to do better in the future."
Bentley will be able to return to racing once his ban expires on January 3.
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