Queensland stewards have laid a charge against one of Australia’s best-known punters during an inquiry which has already led to a leading jockey’s disqualification.
Stephen Fletcher, described by stewards as a professional punter, has been charged with being a party to Bobby El-Issa breaching one of the most serious rules in racing.
El-Issa was disqualified for two years on Friday over his handling of Bold Glance in a race at Eagle Farm on February 26.
Bold Glance, a $7.50 chance, was beaten by the $1.75 favourite Essington in the Falvelon Handicap.
Stewards found El-Issa guilty on Friday of not allowing Bold Glance every chance to win the race.
They said he did not ride the horse out with his usual vigour in the final 200 metres.
“… he did so to ensure the success of wagers placed by an associate, namely, Mr Stephen Fletcher who had backed the winner Essington to win and laid Bold Glance,” the inquiry report said.
“Mr Fletcher’s bet history illustrated a concerning level of confidence when laying horses ridden by jockey El-Issa.”
The inquiry was adjourned to allow Fletcher to submit more details about his betting history.