Ever since horse racing was invented there have been those that have tried to cheat to win money at the races, but when it is as blatant as a jockey basically pulling up a horse and waiting for another to pass him in the straight it cannot be ignored. These days with betfair making anyone basically a bookie, plenty can be made winning or losing, depending on the way you go. Bobby El-lssa is by all accounts a likeable bloke, a damn good jockey with plenty of winners. I have backed him on many occasions, but who can you trust these days, it appears he has been in collusion with friend and big punter Stephen Fletcher to make money by making sure his horse loses…Two years is not enough if they are going to get fair dinkum about this sort of practice. They need to put them out for life…Bring a huge message to these high-profile jockeys, who are very well paid as it is, that cheating is and WILL NOT be tolerated…
See the race here
El-Issa was also found guilty of improper riding while stewards also laid a charge against prominent professional punter Stephen Fletcher of being a party to the jockey’s breach of the rules.
Fletcher was granted an adjournment after stewards found he was a party to El-Issa not allowing Bold Glance to run on its merits.
The stewards said their investigations had determined that Fletcher wagered heavily on the winner Essington and had also laid Bold Glance to lose.
They alleged he won $30,000 in bets on Essington and also retained a stake of $55,000 when Bold Glance was beaten due to El-Issa’s ride.
The charge stated that Fletcher was:- (a) aware of jockey El-Isssa’s intention that he not run Bold Glance on its merits; (b) that he made El-Issa aware of his intention to back Essington and lay Bold Glance; and (c) at all material times Fletcher and El-Issa were close associates.
Fletcher was granted an adjournment after being charged to enable him to submit further betting records.
El-Issa was found guilty of not allowing Bold Glance to run on its merits, failing to ride his mount to obtain the best possible finishing position and improper riding.
The charges stated that El-Issa rode in a manner to deprive Bold Glance of its real and legitimate opportunity of winning the race in that after passing the 200m when challenged by Essington he deliberately and consciously rode with insufficient vigour which resulted in Bold Glance not being fully tested and not finishing the race off at its best.
The stewards found that passing the 200m until near the 100m when Bold Glance was holding an advantage over Essington El-Issa deliberately and consciously stopped using the whip and otherwise failed to ride his mount with sufficient vigour.
Leaving the 100m he again, after using the whip in a backhand manner on only two occasions, deliberately and consciously stopped using the whip and over the concluding stages his deliberate and conscious lack of vigour resulted in Bold Glance not being fully tested and thereby did not finish the race off at its best.
The improper riding charge stated that El-Issa deliberately and consciously failed to exercise sufficient vigour inside the final 200m when challenged for the leading position and did so to ensure the success of wagers placed by an associate (Fletcher) who had backed the winner Essington to win and had laid Bold Glance.
In drawing this inference the stewards carefully considered the bet history of Fletcher through the betting exchange Betfair that illustrated a concerning level of confidence when he laid horses ridden by El-Issa.
They found that Fletcher’s bet history revealed that his 10 heaviest risks (lays) on horses in Queensland races were ridden by El-Issa and that he had an abnormally high success rate of more than 90 percent when laying horses ridden by the jockey.
El-Issa was told that the stewards panel was unanimous in their rejection of his explanations for the manner in which he rode Bold Glance over the final 200 metres and that his actions were deliberate and consciously designed to prevent Bold Glance from running on its merits.
They cited his lack of obvious vigour, his body position in the saddle that was inconsistent with his regular position when attempting to derive the best effort from his mounts, the lack of movement through his legs and through his torso which is identifiable in his riding when embroiled in a tight finish, his abbreviated hand movement and the fact that he did not use the whip in a forehand manner at any stage and only used it backhand on three occasions.
This was viewed with attention to the fact that there is no specific prohibition on backhand use of the whip and no prohibition on the use of the whip inside the final 100 metres.
The stewards also took into account that Bold Glance jumped from barrier 1, enjoyed an easy passage on the fence behind the leaders and was afforded clear running at the top of the straight.
The manner in which the race was run and the way the race presented itself favoured the chances of Bold Glance and on this basis the stewards were satisfied that capacity to respond if fully tested.
Trainer Norm Hilton and part-owners Mr W & Mrs T Walsh and Mrs T Hilton also gave evidence at the inquiry. No charges have been laid against any of these parties.
Following his second placing at Eagle Farm, Bold Glance won the $100,000 Gold Coast Stakes on March 19 when ridden by Scott Seamer.
El-Issa won the $150,000 Weetwood Handicap at Toowoomba on the favourite Lucky Leak on Thursday.
Jockey Bobby El-Issa pretended to be brother
September 17, 2009
A BRISBANE jockey has narrowly escaped being immediately jailed for trying to pass himself off as his brother to police and a magistrate in a bid to avoid a drink-driving offence.
The Brisbane District Court was told Gold-Coast-based Ibrahim “Bobby” El-Issa had been disqualified from driving when police arrested him with a blood alcohol content of 0.059 along Logan Rd, Mt Gravatt, on Brisbane’s southside, on August 30 last year.
Prosecutor Shenna Singh said El-Issa, who had no identification on him at the time, told the arresting officer his name was Ameer El-Issa — who is actually his brother who lives interstate.
She said El-Issa continued his ruse when he fronted the Holland Park Magistrate’s Court and again when he surrendered to police when a warrant was issued for his arrest for failing to appear for his second court appearance.
The court was told it was not the first time El-Issa held himself out as one of his siblings in an attempt to avoid a traffic offence.
Ms Singh said El-Issa claimed to be another brother — Jawad El-Issa — when he was pulled over for a minor traffic offence on October 29, 2007.
El-Issa came unstuck on that occasion because the police officer recognised him and rebuffed by saying: “Aren’t you Bobby El-Issa?”
The court was told El-Issa may have continued to avoid justice had police not taken his fingerprints when he turned himself in after the warrant for his brother, Ameer, was issued.
El-Issa, 33, pleaded guilty to one count each of perverting the course of justice, drunk driving and obstructing and contravening a police direction.
Judge Wally Tutt sentenced El-Issa to a 15-month, wholly suspended, jail term and fined him $2500.
Barrister Steve Kissick, for El-Issa, said he was a successful professional jockey who faced losing the only job he had been trained to do as the result of his offending.
“I think it can be said quite safely that his job is gone,” Mr Kissick said.
“(El-Issa) has to go before (Queensland Racing’s) integrity board to make it known (he has been convicted of these charges).
Judge Tutt said: “Obviously, no doubt his position (as a jockey) will be reviewed by the Queensland Racing Board. I am aware of the process.”
However, he said there have been other cases where jockeys have been convicted of serious criminal offences and later had their jockey’s licenses re-instated.
Judge Tutt, in sentencing El-Issa, said the jockey’s actions had placed his brother in a legally vulnerable position had his criminal behaviour not been detected.
“The innocent person here … was your brother,” he said.
“The reason this is so serious … is because it cuts at the very core of our justice system.”
Outside court, El-Issa said this matter had been “haunting” him for the past eight months and he was now looking forward to the birth of his first child later this year.