Couple of bookies decided to bet only on the starting price on seven races at Lingfield and Kempton last week, which was followed by a wave of bets on multiple runners.
Prior to that, four runners from Tony Newcombe’s yard, as well as participants owned by Stephen Arnold from Ann Stokell’s stable, were crossed out.
This is when the Paddy Power operator stopped its online and mobile betting on the following races – Kempton’s 6.10, 6.40 and 9.10, and Lingfield’s 2.00, 2.30, 3.30 and 4.40, followed by William Hill and Boylesports. Not long after, the same was done by bet365, Coral and Stan James.
Paddy Power’s spokesperson commented: “We’ve seen plenty of action on the Stephen Arnold/Ann Stokell horses and we’ve SP’d races due to strange activity.”
Moreover: “We’ve seen a few Tony Newcombe-trained runners being backed, but there doesn’t seem to be a link between that gamble and the Arnold/Stokell gamble except that some of the Newcombe horses being backed are in some of the races concerned with the other gamble.”
Arnold was expecting a very intense day as he had 11 runners this day, which were all trained by Stokell, who was also preparing runners for different owner.
He even posted on Twitter: “The horses I have backed in multiples are Daniel Thomas, Profile Star, Decent Fella, We Have A Dream, Brown Pete good luck.”
Profile Star was at 7-4 for the 3.30 at Lingfield and Decent Fella was at 2-1 for the 4.40. Betfred gave We Have A Dream 3-1 for Kempton’s 6.40 and BetVictor gave Brown Pete 1-2 for the 9.10.
Furthermore, Gung Ho, the Newcombe-trained one, was at 7-1 for the 7.40 at Kempton. Similarly, the Arnold-owned Catalyze was at 7-2 for the 6.10.
Robin Mounsey, media manager of the British Horseracing Authority, explained that its priority is to protect the integrity and reputation of the racing sport as well as the interests of punters, who bet on sports in the UK.
He commented: “The BHA alerted the Gambling Commission yesterday to the possibility of a complex betting-related issue involving races at Lingfield and Kempton. The BHA’s internal monitoring and intelligence networks gathered the information and acted positively once verified and these actions alerted the betting industry in order that bookmakers were able to act in a manner they felt appropriate.”
Mounsey added: “The action taken reflects our immediate priority in these situations which is to protect both the integrity and reputation of the sport and the interests of the betting public.”
Moreover: “We will continue to monitor the situation today, both in terms of the betting markets but also in relation to the actions of those who may be involved in the matter. Any actions which we deem as either contrary to the rules or as a manipulation of our processes and systems will be acted upon, and subsequently we will ensure that the full circumstances surrounding the case will be examined.”