Australian hoop Zac Purton has been fined over $30,000 for failing to inform Hong Kong stewards that he was approached by the punter at the centre of the Chris Munce scandal.
Purton was fined $HK300,000 ($36,000 AUD) for failing to inform stewards that he had been approached by Cosma Fung, who was jailed for 21 months for his involvement in the case that saw Chris Munce face almost two years in prison.
Luckily for Purton, Stewards found no evidence of any arrangement between the two men.
It is believed that Purton had a non-racing related business venture in the works with Cosma Fung’s brother Peter Fung.
In July 2010, Peter proceeded to bring his brother to a business meeting with Purton under the guise that he was a horse owner. However Purton knew of Cosma Fung’s background and refused to enter into any arrangements with him.
Purton was again approached by Cosma Fung in November and he again refused to even speak with him about the possibility of an agreement.
Both Cosma and Peter Fung have been banned from attending racecourses after they failed to appear at inquiries into the matter.
The stewards report said that Purton had ‘categorically refused’ to enter into any arrangement with Fung despite being constantly pestered.
Hong Kong racing stewards have a zero tolerance policy on any activity that calls into question the integrity of racing. The massive fine was handed down to Purton despite the fact that stewards agreed he had not committed an offence. They even praised Purton for his good record and co-operation in the matter.
However it could have much worse. Just ask former Hong Kong jockey Chris Munce.
Munce was jailed for 20 months in 2007 for entering into a tips for cash agreement with Cosma Fung. Munce has since returned to Australia and is currently enjoying a successful stint in Brisbane.
It is not illegal for jockey’s to give tips to anyone in Australia, however it is illegal for jockeys to bet. In Hong Kong there are strict rules about what information a jockey can give to anyone regarding a horse or a particular race.