Apprentice’s ban extended for lying to stewards in Airbnb scandal

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Apprentice Celine Gaudray has been handed a further eight-week suspension on top of the three-month ban she is already serving for breaching Victoria’s COVID-19 regulations at a Mornington party last month.

The 20-year-old was the first of the five jockeys suspended over the party at an Airbnb to face a further change of lying to Racing Victoria stewards.

Apprentice jockey Celine Gaudray.Credit:Getty Images

Stewards called for an added ban but recommended to the Victorian Racing Tribunal that six weeks should be suspended. They asked for the first two weeks of any additional punishment to be served at the end of her current three-month suspension.

The remainder, they said, should be left “hanging over her” as part of her education as an apprentice jockey. It would only be triggered if, at any time over the next two years, she was found guilty of providing false or misleading evidence to stewards again. The tribunal agreed and imposed the suspension.

Gaudray apologised to the Victorian government, Racing Victoria and the racing industry for putting its continued operation in jeopardy, as well as her family for the embarrassment she had caused them.

The stewards said that Gaudray’s inexperience and her early guilty plea were factors behind their recommendation, as well as the fact that she “would clearly have learned a lot from being involved in this situation”.

Her master, Mornington trainer Pat Carey, told the tribunal that she was not only inexperienced in the racing industry but “inexperienced in life”.

Champion rider Jamie Kah faces the tribunal next week, while Mark Zahra, Ben Melham and Ethan Brown are other jockeys facing the same charge.

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