Leading Australian harness trainer BANNED from racing venues after report found him guilty of fixing multiple races

  • Was discovered as part of a major investigation into the racing industry
  • Horses withdrawn from competitions this week, leaving one race with just one rider
  • You can still train, but you are not allowed to enter the racing locations

Prominent Australian harness racing trainer Ben Yole has been banned from competing in the sport after a damning report found him guilty of fixing multiple races.

Tasmania’s top running figure, Yole, has been banned from the state’s race tracks, just two days after the release of a comprehensive independent report into race-fixing.

Tasracing took swift action by issuing notices to Yole and others involved in the Murrihy Report, which contained negative findings against several individuals in the racing industry.

The extensive investigation, led by former steward Ray Murrihy, delved into allegations of race-fixing, team riding and animal cruelty initially exposed by the ABC in March 2023.

Despite the government publicly releasing the report more than two months after receiving it, and despite the report’s explicit findings against Yole – particularly his involvement in fixing at least two 2022 races – the Office of Racing Integrity failed to to suspend him.

Yole retains the option to continue training and entering horses for races.

Currently, Yole has 36 runners scheduled for the upcoming race at Mowbray in Launceston, with a further 49 planned for Sunday at Elwick in Hobart.

Some Yole-affiliated runners who took part in a race in New South Wales have been scratched. In one race, the number of Yole scratches meant there was only one runner left in the race.

Prominent Tasmanian trainer Ben Yole has been banned from racing venues

Yole was found to have recorded the results of two races and a number of his horses have now been removed from race meetings in Australia

Yole was found to have recorded the results of two races and a number of his horses have now been removed from race meetings in Australia

Despite the findings, Yole has maintained an active training regime, overseeing about 700 runners in races since November, when the report was initially submitted to the government.

Following the publication of the report, the government announced the formation of an independent panel of stewards to further investigate and possibly sanction Yole for suspected breeds and animal cruelty cases identified by Mr Murrihy.

Tasracing announced its investigation into legal options, separate from the Office of Racing Integrity, in response to the allegations against Yole Racing and others involved in the report.

“TasRacing is satisfied that it has the grounds to make this decision under the Racing Regulation Act 2004, based on serious allegations and subsequent findings made by Mr Murrihy,” Tasracing CEO Andrew Jenkins said.

“The named participants will have a show-cause period to prove why the notice should be withdrawn.”

Under the Australian Rules of Harness Racing, a person who has been ‘warned’ is barred from ‘participating in any way in the harness racing industry’.

The Murrihy investigation, which included more than 50 interviews, more than 45 submissions, reviews of racing footage, examination of race betting data, individual betting data and site visits, contributed to the extensive findings against Yole and others involved.

“The investigation investigated allegations of team driving and race fixing in the two races mentioned in the ABC media report dated March 26, 2023, as well as two additional races selected from more than 50 races from the past three years referenced in the submissions,” the statement said. spokesman. report read.

‘Of these four races, two were determined to have engaged in conduct not in compliance with the AHRR, while the remaining two races lacked sufficient evidence to support a non-compliant determination.’

Racing Minister Felix Ellis said it was: “A dark day for harness racing in Tasmania.”