Australian Jockey Ben Melham Faces Charges for Gambling on Own Races

  • Racing Victoria alleges Melham gambled AU$21,000+ on races, including two he rode in
  • He faces seven charges for gambling, giving false or misleading evidence alongside girlfriend
  • Australian jockey won last weekend on Sacramento in the VRC St Leger, Melbourne
jockey rides horse numbered one
Melbourne jockey Ben Melham faces charges over six betting offences as well as for having given false evidence. [Image:]

More than $20,000 wagered in six months

Ben Melham, one of Australia’s leading jockeys, has been charged by Racing Victoria over claims he gambled more than AU$21,000 (US$13,567) on races, including two he was riding in.

The charges span a six-month period starting March 2019, when Melham was out with an injury, through September 2019, when he resumed racing.

he gambled more than AU$21,000 (US$13,567) on races, including two he was riding in

The jockey was also charged alongside his partner, Karlie Dales, of giving false or misleading evidence at an inquiry. It is alleged the jockey was using Dales’ account to wager more than AU$14,000 (US$9,044) in one day after depositing AU$3,000 (US$1,938) into her account while off due to injury.

Facing seven charges

A total of seven charges brought against Melham include winning AU$500 (US$323) on an unplaced horse called Venezuela at Sandown in March while injured, wagering 20 bets through Dales’ account totaling AU$14,600 (US$9,432) after his initial AU$3,000 ($1,938) deposit, and betting AU$2,500 (US$1,615) on a multi-bet that combined two legs.

he gave money to a third party who could place the bet for him

Melham also spent more than AU$2,000 (US$1,292) on Singaporean racing while at a hotel in mid-August. The charge explains that he gave money to a third party who could place the bet for him.

The high-profile jockey is also charged with wagering AU$1,850 (US$1,195) on three horses at Sandown in July, when he was known to be riding one of them. He also placed a bet through an associate that allowed Dales to bet on Orleans Rock at Geelong, the horse he was riding on September 1, 2019. Melham went on to win that race.

The final charge covers false or misleading evidence when Racing Victoria previously asked the couple about the money passing through his girlfriend’s account.

Horse racing continues in Australia

Melham is currently placing well in the Melbourne metropolitan jockeys’ premiership, winning by a nose on Sacramento in the VRC St Leger last weekend. He currently sits equal-fourth after 37 wins this season, and has collected AU$4,779,735 (US$3,088,043) in prize money so far. The racing season continues despite casinos and other sports closing due to the coronavirus.

The complete list of charges against Ben Melham will now be heard by the Victorian Racing Tribunal, although the date is still unknown.

News of jockeys caught betting is not uncommon in the industry. The last high-profile name to be charged was Damien Oliver in 2012. The champion rider admitted to placing an AU$10,000 (US$6,460) bet in 2010 through a third party on another horse that was riding in the same race.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *