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'well-placed racing industry source' in dreamland

High-flying Sydney punter Steve Fletcher is facing a battle to retain control of his punting empire after being implicated in a Queensland racing betting scandal.

$1m punter faces ban

FEARLESS Sydney punter Steve Fletcher - the man who was Eddie Hayson's partner in the Great Greyhound Sting of 2005 - could have his gambling operation crippled if found guilty of any involvement in the Bold Glance scandal today.

Fletcher, who bookmakers say punts more than $1 million a week across racing and sports, has been charged by Racing Queensland stewards for allegedly being a party to jockey Bobby El-Issa not giving Bold Glance every chance of winning after backing the horse to lose a race at Eagle Farm on February 26.

El-Issa was slapped with a two-year disqualification but is currently appealing against the sentence for not showing his usual vigour over the final 200m when Bold Glance was challenged by eventual winner Essington.Fletcher could be warned off racecourses around the country if found guilty under AR.135 (c) and although he controls the majority of his business away from the track, the rules of racing state that disqualified persons are not allowed to place bets with any bookmaker or wagering operator by telephone or internet during their ban.

"The rule [AR.182A] effectively means that anyone who is warned off is not allowed to bet while disqualified with any TAB account, on-course bookmaker or corporate bookmaker," a well-placed racing industry source said.

"He [Fletcher] has runners and agents placing bets for him at tracks all over the country and that would have to stop, legally, if he is found guilty."



The 'well-placed racing industry source' is either stating all he can legally say, or he is clueless. Racing is hardly an industry which has a history of denying people a living - most trainers, certainly the high-profile ones, who cop a suspension for a serious offence switch the training over to one of their support staff and it's business as usual. If said leviathan punter has a huge network of agents and runners working for him, what's to stop him putting it under another name for however long is required?

I haven't seen the race in question and the amount he has risked in this case isn't big on his scale, but the other evidence doesn't help his case.

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