News

Three found guilty in harness race fixing case

By Shepparton News

UPDATE 6pm:

Harness Racing Victoria has released a statement saying Nathan Jack, Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley have been suspended after the court rulings.

" In light of the parties being found guilty Mr Jack, Mr Pitt and Ms Bartley have had all harness racing licences suspended. Horses owned by them are prevented from racing or trialling and all three have been excluded from attending any Victorian racecourse. These restrictions were imposed immediately pending submissions being provided as to why these embargoes should not remain in place until the completion of a HRV investigation,'' the statement read.

"A final decision with respect to these embargoes is expected to be announced by the HRV Integrity Department by 5pm on 19 September 2018.

"As today’s decision of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria is subject to an appeal period, and all parties being required to appear before HRV for further proceedings, HRV will not make any further comment at this time."

UPDATE 4pm:

Nathan Jack has been convicted and fined $20,000.

Mark Pitt has been convicted and fined $15,000.

Lisa Bartley has not been convicted and fined $5000.

EARLIER:

Three harness racing industry participants have been found guilty of charges relating to a race fixing case.

Nathan Jack, Mark Pitt and Lisa Bartley had all pleaded not guilty to charges of engaging in, facilitating and possessing knowledge and/or information about conduct that corrupts a betting outcome.

The charges related to an allegedly fixed race at Cobram on Monday June 22, 2015, after which an investigation was launched into the tactics adopted during the event and information provided to Harness Racing Victoria on the stabling arrangements of a horse.

Prosecutors had alleged Mr Jack, driving Tooram Lad, allowed Airbournemagic, driven by Mr Pitt, to win the race.

Magistrate John Murphy handed down his decision in Wodonga Magistrates' Court today, after a hearing in Shepparton Magistrates' Court late last year.

Extracts from charges:

- Nathan Jack ‘did engage in conduct that corrupted a betting outcome, by unofficially training the horse Airbournemagic without declaring this to Harness Racing Victoria, by unofficially housing the horse Airbournemagic at his and Amanda Turnbull’s stables without declaring this to Harness Racing Victoria, by keeping Airbournemagic's registered trainer and stables listed as David Bartley, there knowingly manipulating and inflating greater regulated betting odds with regulated betting agencies regarding race 4 at Cobram on 22 June 2015.’

Nathan Jack, left, and Mark Pitt outside Shepparton court last year.

- Mark Pitt ‘did engage in conduct that corrupt a betting outcome, by engaging in a deliberate set of activities with Nathan Jack to manipulate race 4 at Cobram on 22 June 2015. Namely, colluding with Nathan Jack and agreeing to run a fast paced race on his horse Airbournemagic, while following closely behind Nathan Jack, by manipulating the field positions of horses and overtaking Nathan Jack in the final straight to win the race.’

- Lisa Bartley ‘did engage in conduct that corrupted a betting outcome, by u-officially training the horse Airbournemagic in conjunction with Nathan Jack without declaring this to Harness Racing Victoria, but assisting the in rehousing of horse Airbournemagic at the stables of Nathan jack and Amanda Turnbull without declaring this to Harness Racing Victoria, by keeping Abirbournemagic’s registered trainer and stables listed as David Bartley, therefore knowingly manipulating and inflating greater regulated betting odds with regulated betting agencies regarding race 4 at Cobram on 22 June 2015.’

Lisa Bartley outside Shepparton Magistrates' Court last year.