Sydney lawyer Wayne Pasterfield says there is no evidence of any alleged betting activity against jockey Josh Cartwright who has been stood down pending an inquiry.
Pasterfield will represent the Adelaide-based Cartwright when the inquiry is held on February 13.
Cartwright pleaded guilty to a reckless riding charge after steering Senior Council out onto Go The Journey and House Of Wax in the race his girlfriend Anna Jordsjo won aboard Murti at Morphettville Parks on January 14.
Pasterfield said Cartwright had handed over his computer and mobile phone to South Australian stewards as they continue to gather evidence.
“From what I’ve seen there is absolutely not one scintilla of evidence of any nefarious activity, including betting activity,” Pasterfield told Melbourne radio station RSN927.
“Had it not been for the fact that his girlfriend, had she not won the race, there would be less scrutiny I suppose.
“I’ve been in racing for a long time. It’s an industry that thrives on rumour and speculation.
“I’m a lawyer and the stewards in South Australia, particularly Johan Petzer, are very honourable men and I’m sure they’ll deal with the facts of the case.”
Pasterfield said Cartwright’s early guilty plea could be in his favour despite reckless riding being one of the more serious offences in racing.
“To his enormous credit he has ‘fessed up straight away, pleaded guilty, so I would imagine any penalty he gets will be vastly reduced because of that,” he said.
Pasterfield agrees with Australian Jockeys Association chairman Des O’Keeffe the inquiry will come down to an issue of jockey safety and wellbeing rather than any illegal activity.