Jockeys held in race fix probe

TOP jockey Kieren Fallon was being held at a Suffolk police station today following a massive crackdown on alleged horse racing corruption.The flat racing champion was one of 16 people, including two other jockeys and a trainer, arrested in a series of early morning swoops across the country.

TOP jockey Kieren Fallon was being held at a Suffolk police station today following a massive crackdown on alleged horse racing corruption.

The flat racing champion was one of 16 people, including two other jockeys and a trainer, arrested in a series of early morning swoops across the country.

One of the raids, which were carried out from 5am today, took place at Fallon's home in Cowlinge, near Newmarket.

It was among 19 addresses across Suffolk, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Hertfordshire searched by more than 130 police officers.

The other two jockeys arrested were understood to be Fergal Lynch and Darren Williams, along with Newmarket-based trainer Karl Burke.

Fallon, 39, is currently thought to be in custody at Bury St Edmunds police station. Along with Lynch, he had been due to race at a meeting in York this afternoon.

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The investigation centres on suspicion of corruption within horse racing and fixing the outcome of horse races.

The allegations involve more than 80 races over the last two years.

Of the 16 arrests, eight were made in South Yorkshire, three in North Yorkshire, three in Suffolk and two in Hertfordshire.

A spokesman for the City of London police revealed more arrests could still be made with other addresses likely to be searched as inquiries continue. The raided addresses have been a mixture of business premises and homes, he added.

Detective chief superintendent Steve Wilmott, of City of London police, who are heading the probe, said: "We've amassed a large amount of information, including computer records and documentation seized today, and will now commence the detailed task of examining it all."

Assistant commissioner Mike Bowron said: "The City of London Police are leading this complex investigation with assistance from police in Suffolk, North Yorkshire and South Yorkshire.

"We're leaders in the investigation of economic crime and are very experienced in dealing with large-scale fraud cases.

"We're very pleased to have taken the lead role in this operation, which spans the whole of the country. This case is of great national significance, not just to the racing community, but to the wider public throughout the UK.'

A spokesman for the City of London police, home to Britain's largest financial fraud team, confirmed officers from Suffolk police were called to provide assistance at the scene of the arrests.

He added: "We had our own investigation teams at each of the local police stations, where the suspects were taken.

"They are all arrested and questioned by our officers. Those arrested are being held in custody."

Peter Amos, managing director of the jockey club estate in Newmarket, said he had seen a number of big-name jockeys riding this morning and spoke of his shock at the news.

He added: "It's in everyone's interests in racing to stamp out the elements that do us a dis-service in terms of bringing the reputation of the sport into disrepute."

Today's arrests come after a number of controversies that have plagued the racing world.

A Jockey Club inquiry into disrepute charges against Kieren Fallon and John Egan is due to start in September.

Proceedings against the jockeys date back to allegations brought by undercover News of the World reporters in March.

Both jockeys have insisted they are innocent of allegations of race-fixing.

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