As I'm sure you're aware, the subject of race fixing is very much in the news at the moment, with the ongoing trials and suspensions of three jockeys.  How big a problem is race fixing though?  Do jockeys really accept money to deliberately lose races so that unscrupulous individuals can lay the horse to lose on a betting exchange, and in the process con the punters who are unknowingly backing a horse that can't possibly win.

Opinions are divided on the subject: the police seem to think that it happens all the time, John Francome of channel 4 racing thinks that on average six horses are "stopped" every year, and various senior jockeys dismiss the whole thing as bollox (well they would wouldn't they).  So who's right?  I tend to subscribe to the Francome "six a year" theory, as I seem to back all six of them every year without fail.

Seriously though, even if race fixing does exist, it's very difficult to prove.  Discovering unusual betting patterns (such as a lot of people laying a fancied horse to lose) is one thing, but proving that the horse's defeat was due to it being "stopped", rather than just good old fashioned jockey incompetence is something else again.

However, Ivor Donkey has obtained photographic evidence of a jockey actually stopping a horse during a race.  It was missed altogether by the racecourse stewards as the technique that he used was very subtle and hard to spot.