Jockey Ben Melham has been disqualified by the Victorian Racing Tribunal for five months after he was found guilty of betting on thoroughbred races.
Melham was given a three-month sentence for betting and another two months for providing false information to stewards.
His disqualification will end on May 23 next year and during that time he is not permitted to ride in races or trackwork, or attend a stable.
VRT chairman Judge Bowman assessed Melham’s betting on horse racing as reprehensible behaviour.
He also stated that lying to Racing Victoria stewards was a serious offence as they had a tough enough job without having to determine a participant’s honesty.
The VRT found Melham guilty on four charges consisting of three for illegal betting and one of giving false information to RV stewards.
Melham was disqualified for three months on his second charge which related to him depositing $3000 in his partner Karlie Dales’ TAB account and placing a series of bets worth $36,000 on March 27 and May 19 last year.
He was also disqualified for two other separate betting charges but Judge Bowman said they would be served concurrently with the three month disqualification.
The two-month penalty for giving false information was added to the three months Melham incurred for betting.
Judge Bowman said they took into account that Melham was sidelined at the time of the bets with a wrist injury and he had no similar convictions, along with the fact he had pleaded guilty to the charges.
The 32-year-old Melham, who won the 2017 Golden Slipper on She Will Reign, is fifth in the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership this season with 21 winners.