Bombshell texts that exposed jockey’s betting scandal
Adam Hyeronimius's riding career is in tatters after the Group 1-winning jockey was disqualified for three years for betting-related offences.
Racing NSW stewards announced on Tuesday morning Hyeronimus has been found guilty of placing 30 bets on thoroughbred races, including horses he rode, over a period of nearly four years.
The jockey's cousin, registered stablehand Blake Paine has also been disqualified for two years and four months for his involvement in the betting scandal.
Hyeronimus, 30, has the right of appeal but his worldwide riding ban is the already the longest issued to a high-profile jockey for illegal betting in the modern era.
Blake Shinn was given a 12-month ban for betting in 2010 while Damien Oliver received an eight-month penalty for a similar offence in 2012.
After those controversial cases, Racing Australia introduced minimum two-year penalties for any jockey found guilty of betting. James McDonald was hit with an 18-month ban in 2016, his penalty reduced after stewards took into account his co-operation and guilty plea during the inquiry.
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The long-running Hyeronimus stewards inquiry had its genesis during a relatively routine investigation into the jockey's ride on runner-up Wolfe at Randwick on Anzac Day last year.
Stewards questioned the jockey's riding tactics and adjourned the inquiry to "review certain aspects of the race, including a significant betting drift associated with Wolfe ($1.75 out to $2.25).''
Hyeronimus's mobile phone was seized and banking records reviewed as part of the Wolfe inquiry and this was when stewards discovered a goldmine of evidence into the jockey's betting activities.
Stewards were able to establish a pattern where bets were placed for Hyeronimus by his cousin, Paine.
Hyeronimus would invariably deposit a sum of money into Paine's bank account before Paine transferred that exact amount on 11 occasions or a similar amount on another 11 occasions into a separate bank account.
Paine then transferred the exact amount (19 occasions) or similar amount (three occasions) into his Sportsbet account from where he would place his bets.
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Hyeronimus argued that the repeated transfer of money to Paine were for gifts or savings but stewards studied mobile phone data and determined the funds were used for betting activities.
Stewards established that Hyeronimus had an interest in bets on two horses he rode - $500 on Lucky Meteor at Canterbury in November, 2016, and another $500 wager on Limbo Soul at Rosehill in February, 2017.
The text message exchanges between Hyeronimus and Paine were sometimes humorous and often laden with profanities but they proved illuminating to stewards.
For example, after nominations were released for the Lucky Meteor race, Hyeronimus sent a message which read: "I'm riding lucky meteor. I think it can win"
Stewards determined that a bank transfer of $500 made a day prior to Lucky Meteor's third placing at Canterbury was to fund a win bet placed by Paine for the jockey.
The day before Limbo Soul's winning Rosehill debut, stewards found Hyeronimus withdrew $650 from an ATM before having the following text exchange with Paine.
Hyeronimus: "Just come by yourself"
Hyeronimus: "I'll be home in 15"
Paine: "I'll be 5mins"
Hyeronimus: "That thing will probs blow out a bit after the scratchings"
During the stewards inquiry, it was confirmed the two men met at Hyeronimus's house that evening but the jockey said it was because he wanted to tell his cousin of plans to ask his girlfriend to marry him.
But stewards found phone messages revealing Hyeronimus did not ask his girlfriend to marry him until some months later and concluded the meeting was to arrange the Limbo Soul wager.
On race morning, the following text exchange between Hyeronimus and Paine read:
Hyeronimus: "How'd you go?"
Paine: "Fixed still not out yet"
Paine: "9 Fixed 11 Boost"
Hyeronimus: "Walt said they (sic) have been plenty of money for it"
Paine: "F..k na didn't let me get that either"
Paine: "Walt must of put a house on it"
Stewards determined Paine transferred $600 into his Sportsbet account on the morning of Limbo Soul's race and then placed a $600 win bet on the horse.
There was another text exchange between Hyeronimus and Paine soon after Limbo Soul's win with reference to the filly's odds for the Golden Slipper.
Paine: "Peweew my f……n man we have a horse on our hands that was nice"
Hyeronimus: "Geed ay"
Paine: "F…..n Oath"
Paine: "I had 100 on it swell (sic, as well)"
Paine: "I still haven't put slipper one on couldn't find it this morning still but can now 26"
Hyeronimus: "F..k I'm geed. It's a good horse"
Hyeronimus: "Hope it makes the slipper"
Paine: "You slot the slipper il (sic) f…..n lose my cool"
The day after Limbo Soul's win, Paine withdrew $4000 (4 x $1000) from his Sportsbet account using his Sportsbet Cash Card.
Stewards found that $500 of the $600 bet on Limbo Soul was placed for Hyeronimus and the result of that winning bet was $4000 ($500 at $8), the exact amount Paine withdrew from his Sportsbet account.
Stewards also determined Paine placed another 29 bets on thoroughbred racing for the jockey between June, 2016 and January, 2019.
They included a $1000 win bet on Prized Icon in the 2016 Spring Champion Stakes. The former classy stayer ran third to Yankee Rose.
Hyeronimus: "F..k prized icon maggot"
Paine: "I tried to roar around the turn for you but my voice cut out''
Hyeronimus's lengthy ban comes after the jockey enjoyed his most successful season in the saddle, riding 52 winners, including six at stakes level culminating with his breakthrough Group 1 success on Shout The Bar in the Vinery Stud Stakes during the Golden Slipper Festival earlier this year.
The jockey, who has been riding for 12 years and has a career total of 503 wins, was in winning form at Royal Randwick last Saturday with a clever front-running ride on Taikomochi in the Premier's Cup Prelude.
His riding ban is effective immediately which means Hyeronimus will not be able to ride as scheduled at the Canterbury Park meeting on Wednesday.
Hyeronimus has the right of appeal and can lodge a stay of proceedings to continue riding until the appeal his heard. Stewards will consider any application from the jockey to continue riding during the appeal process on its merit.
Originally published as Bombshell texts that exposed jockey's betting scandal