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Race-fixing trial gets underway at Old Bailey 24/09/2007
Greg Wood

The 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 week.

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".

All three 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 Authority.

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