Bentley denies betting or race fixing in wake of Hong Kong ban

Harry Bentley has denied that the two-month suspension he has been handed by the Hong Kong Jockey Club is in any way related to betting or race fixing.

The 31-year-old admitted to breaching rule 155 under the rules of racing in Hong Kong, which relates to misconduct, improper conduct or inappropriate behaviour during a two-day hearing last week.

A report from the inquiry detailed Bentley had engaged in “inappropriate communication” about horses he was riding with persons who were not “registered owners or nominators of such horses.” He had also used a private phone provided by the unknown persons.

While the HKJC ruled that Bentley had agreed to accept payment, there was no evidence to suggest he received any and that, along with his guilty plea and previous clean disciplinary record, meant he was only banned for two months.

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In a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter, Bentley said: “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 wen 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 is 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.

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“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.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my partner, my family, friends and racing fans for their unwavering support. I will use my suspension (which culminates on January 3, 2024) to prepare myself for the rest of the season and as always do my very best for the owners, the trainers, the Hong Kong Jockey Club and all my supporters. I can’t wait to get back in the saddle early in the New Year!”

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