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Horse Racing

Jockey agent slapped with huge ban for betting against his own riders in horse races

AN agent to top jockeys has been hit with a four-month ban – after betting against his own riders in races.

Mark Van Triet has been disqualified by stewards after pleading guilty to ‘having an interest in bets placed on thoroughbred races’.

A top agent has been banned for four months for betting against his own riders

According to Racing New South Wales stewards in Australia, Van Triet placed ‘numerous bets’ on contests Down Under.

He often backed his own jockeys to win but on some occasions stewards found he bet against them too.

The agent’s actions were deemed a ‘serious’ breach of a recently-introduced rule on betting.

Stewards gave some leniency on the ban imposed given Van Triet’s previous clean record and his guilty plea.

But they still decided to suspend him for four-and-a-half months, effective immediately.

The stewards’ report read: “Mr Van Triet was disqualified for a period of four-and-a-half months reduced from six months for his guilty plea, to commence immediately and to expire on 5 December 2022.”

Van Triet is one of the biggest figures in Southern Hemisphere racing.

His list of jockeys includes Damien Oliver, the legendary 50-year-old rider who has 127 Group winners to his name.

Oliver had his own run-in with stewards in 2012 when he was found to have put a five-figure sum on a horse he was racing against.

The three-time Melbourne Cup winner was eventually banned for eight months in November 2012 – with an additional two months for ‘using a mobile phone in the area of the jockeys’ room against the rules’.

He was unable to ride until September 2013, while Van Triet’s ban means he can return before the end of the year.