Jockey banned for three years after placing almost 1,000 bets

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has handed former apprentice jockey Matthew Hopkins a three-year ban after it was revealed that he placed almost 1,000 bets on racing in the space of just one year.

Hopkins, who relinquished his licence in November, has been disqualified after a disciplinary panel found him guilty of backing and laying horses.

Data from the BHA reveals that Hopkins placed a total of 978 backs bets between January 2013 and February 2014, as well as eight back bets and one lay bet in December 2012.

Hopkins’ solicitor, Mark Edmondson, noted at the BHA hearing that the former jockey is now receiving counselling for a gambling addiction and that gambling had “become an illness” for Hopkins.

Edmondson also said that the 21-year-old “lacked guidance” and that he found it “too easy to place small bets via his mobile phone”.

Despite the BHA accepting that the bets were for “small amounts and mostly unsuccessful”, the body concluded that the breaches were serious enough to warrant a lengthy ban.

Hopkins’ disqualification is due to end in June 2018.

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