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Jockey Ben Melham has been asked to provide his phone records as Victorian stewards continue their probe into irregular betting patterns on Baron Archer in a race at Echuca.

Baron Archer was was laid heavily to lose the race on March 8 in which he finished third as a $2.80 chance.

Trainer Jason Warren was last month fined $17,500 for failing to tell stewards Baron Archer had undergone throat surgery at the end of his previous campaign.

Baron Archer has since been transferred to trainer Wez Hunter and won his second run for the stable at Sale on Sunday.

Melham’s ride on Baron Archer on March 8 has not come into question but Racing Victoria stewards are investigating calls on the previous evening and in the hours after the race.

As part of the investigation stewards are looking into communication between Melham and registered owner Nicolas Ectoros, an associate of suspended jockey Danny Nikolic.

Tania Hyett, Nikolic’s partner, was charged last week with placing 34 lay bets on Robert Smerdon-trained horses while registered as an employee of the stable.

Her Betfair account has been the subject of investigation into lay betting on the Baron Archer race.

Stewards interviewed Melham and Ectoros behind closed doors at Flemington on Saturday.

“As part of the investigation surrounding the phone records it was obvious to the stewards that some questions needed to be put to Mr Ectoros around communication between the two parties,” RV’s chief steward Terry Bailey told Melbourne radio station RSN.

“Obviously the stewards are concerned if there was any suggestion of inside information regarding Baron Archer’s chances on that particular day (then we) would be negligent in our duties if that area of investigation wasn’t pursued.”

Bailey said the investigation had not uncovered any evidence Ectoros had laid Baron Archer.

Ectoros was a part-owner of Smoking Aces who was the subject of a stewards inquiry after a successful betting plunge in a race at Cranbourne in April 2011 when he was ridden by Nikolic.

 
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