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James McDonald steering Astern to victory in the race that could cost him his job

An alleged bet of $1,000 could cost jockey James McDonald his million dollar yearly contract with Godolphin.

McDonald voluntarily stood himself down from riding on Tuesday after stewards charged him for having an interest in a bet on Godolphin runner Astern in December last year.

It is reported by Fairfax Media that stewards had their interest sparked by McDonald’s overzealous celebration for the class of race but it was not until Tuesday that they had a reason for him doing so.

The evidence stewards found was a link between McDonald and a Sydney man Anthony Gardiner who is nicknamed “the tennis player.”

It is understood Gardiner had placed a $1,000 bet on behalf of McDonald on Astern to collect close to $5,000 however stewards are tight lipped on the situation and are yet to confirm these allegations.

Godolphin on Wednesday issued a statement regarding the matter.

“(McDonald’s) decision to step down from riding, pending the outcome of the investigation, is the right one,” the statement said. “We will continue to support him throughout this process.”

The inquiry is likely to take weeks or even months to be concluded with stewards set to interview both McDonald, Gardiner and other parties of interest.

If found guilty McDonald faces a mandatory two-year ban from riding which will ultimately see him lose his position as Godolphin’s number one stable rider in Australia which netted him close to a million dollars in earnings last year.

 
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