Jockey Club to Introduce Amended Mobile Phone Restrictions
Published: 16 September 2003
On Friday the Jockey Club is to introduce amended restrictions on the use of jockeys’ mobile phones which meet as far as possible the concerns of the jockeys while at the same time providing effective controls to uphold the sport’s integrity. The scheme will operate on a trial basis until the end of the year and be subject to regular review meetings with the Jockeys’ Association to monitor and discuss how the system is working in practice.
The amended restriction will allow jockeys to make outgoing calls on their own phones and to check for messages whenever they wish, without the need to seek permission. All phone activity will take place in a designated ‘phone zone’, adjacent to the Clerk of the Scales in the weighing room.
In addition, to answer trainers’ concerns, the Jockey Club have made a provision for jockeys to receive calls direct from trainers who are off course using the mobile phone of the trainer’s representative. Such calls will be taken by the jockey in the ‘phone zone’.
Julian Richmond-Watson, Senior Steward of the Jockey Club said: “Any restrictions on the use of their mobile phones are bound to be inconvenient so I understand why jockeys have difficulty agreeing with them. But we have a job to do as Regulator of the sport and racing cannot afford to turn a blind eye to this area of proven vulnerability particularly now the scope and nature of betting is expanding so that people, other than bookmakers, are able to lay horses to lose.
“We have listened carefully to the jockeys’ concerns and believe that the amended restrictions announced today both meet racing’s integrity needs and provide a significant improvement for jockeys over the scheme in place since 1st September. I hope that the majority of jockeys, as well as everyone else in racing, will be prepared to give this trial a go.
“It is not a case of not trusting the jockeys riding today. Racing and betting are inextricably linked and are vulnerable to those who seek to gain an unfair advantage to profit financially, whether it be via access to privileged information or through trying to effect the outcome of a race. And we know that it is not without precedent for such people to put pressure on jockeys to compromise the sport’s integrity. Effective integrity measures not only serve to promote public confidence in racing, they protect the reputation of the sport’s participants as well.
“Through regular reviews with both jockeys and trainers during the trial period we will monitor how the scheme is working in practice and amend it if necessary. We will also continue to explore other possible solutions which incorporate today’s rapidly advancing technology.
“I sincerely hope that we have seen the end of the disruption to race meetings. Racing can ill afford the cancellation of further fixtures, including the jockeys themselves, many of whom we know would like to take up any opportunities they can to earn their living.”
16th September 2003
Notes for Editors:
1. The restrictions from Friday, which are based on the offer sent to jockeys over the weekend, will work as follows:
a) From half an hour before racing until the start of the final race (i.e. the restricted period), personal phones must be switched off.
b) At any time during the restricted period, without requesting permission, jockeys can take their phones to the ‘phone zone’, an area adjacent to the Clerk of the Scales, and switch them on, checking for messages or making calls; calls made must be logged, with the time of the call, by and to whom.
c) Incoming calls are not permitted; neither is outward text messaging during the restricted period.
d) During the restricted period, if trainers wish to give instructions to their jockeys, they can do so via their representative’s telephone in the ‘phone zone’ (i.e. jockeys may receive calls from their trainers in this way).
e) Access to jockeys’ phone records for the restricted period could be requested by the Jockey Club, with random requests being made on occasions throughout the year.
f) The present system of the Jockey Club provided phones will remain in place for those jockeys who would prefer to make calls from the Changing Room rather than the ‘phone zone’ area of the Weighing Room.
2. Jockeys riding in South Africa, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore have to abide by far stricter regulations than those proposed by the Jockey Club, examples of the rules in place in those countries are listed below.
South Africa: Save with the consent of the Stipendiary Steward, no rider, during the period stated, shall have contact with anybody outside the Jockey’s quarters or weighing room other than the Owner or Authorised Agents of the Owner or the groom of the horse he is riding, a race meeting representative on duty and Licensed official for the racemeeting concerned, nor shall he take into the jockey’s quarters or weighing room nor make use of any type of telephone, transmitter or similar device for communication purposes.
Hong Kong: No person within the Jockeys room or its precincts shall, without the permission of the stewards, use or have in his possession any portable telephone radio transmitter, radio receiver or any other appliance, apparatus instrument or equipment capable of receiving or transmitting information.
3. Extracts from the transcript of the trial of ex-jockey, Barrie Wright, Southampton Crown Court, 2001.
a) Questioning of Graham Bradley, in the context of Barrie Wright relaying ‘information’ to Brian Wright Sr
Q: From what you could see how would he relay this information? Would it be by telephone? Would he go and see him? What was the position?
Graham Bradley [GB]:
Basically over the telephone … being a jockey and having a licence and being allowed into the changing room is a very very privileged position. You can get last minute information, personal information off a jockey, say, “How’s your horse been going? Has it been coughing? Has it had an injury? Is it fancied? Are you having a few quid?” etc, but it was generally done on the phone … He would ring a jockey in the weighing room, find out all the last minute things and straight on to Brian [Wright] or his other punters, give them that information and then the money was on, because the betting in a horse race doesn’t start until about five minutes before the race generally … It is all very last minute when the money is going on.
b) Christopher Coleman, punter, being questioned about his links with Barrie Wright
Q: Give us the sort of character of the information that you would receive?
Christopher Coleman [CC]:
He would phone me up and he would say a horse is suited to certain ground. With horseracing the biggest factor is the going. Some horses like to run on heavy ground, some horses like to run on firm ground.
Q: He would give you that sort of information?
Q: As a semi-professional gambler would you wager substantial amounts?
Q: What is a substantial amount?
CC: He would sometimes talk to one or two of the other lads and he would phone me and say that the horse is suited by this track or that track or what have you, the fitness of the horse. Obviously not to the same amount because when he was actually a jockey he was privilege to more information than when he wasn’t a jockey.
Q: Mr Coleman, have I got this right, that you are getting privileged information from Mr Wright to help you mak