Australian Jockey Munce Sentenced to 30 Months in Hong Kong Jail

According to published reports, Australian jockey Chris Munce was sentenced to 30 months in jail March 1 by a Hong Kong court. Munce, 37, was found guilty of conspiring to trade race tips in return for bets and was taken into custody pending an appeal by his legal team. He is the first jockey to be sentenced for such an offense in Hong Kong.

His sentence is to be served in Hong Kong and casts a shadow over his future after Australian authorities responded to news of his jail term by revoking his riding license.

In a published report, prosecutor John Dunn said Munce could apply for bail pending an appeal. The reported to continued to say that Hong Kong laws could make his release on bail difficult as his lawyers will need to show there is the likelihood of a successful appeal.

Munce's sentence could be reduced to 20 months, or by a third, for good behavior will in prison.

The charges of conspiracy related to 18 races run between December 2005 and July 2006, according to a published report.

Munce began his riding career as an apprentice in Brisbane in 1985.

In the last 15 years he has become one of Australia's leading riders and has been based in Sydney for more than a decade as one of Gail Waterhouse's major stable jockeys.

In 2005, he was granted a three-month riding license in Hong Kong that was later extended to a full season.

He has won 35 group I races including the 1998 Melbourne Cup (Jezabeel); 2004 W.S. Cox Plate (Savabeel); 1998 and 2004 Golden Slipper Stakes (Prowl, Dance Hero); 2001 Doncaster Handicap ( Assertive Lad); 1995 and 1997 Epsom Handicaps (Nick's Joy; Iron Horse); 1997 and 2000 Stradbroke Handicaps (Dane Ripper; Landsighting); 1997 Doomben 10,000 (Barossa Boy); 1996 Goodwood Handicap (Sword); 2006 Mackinnon Stakes (Desert War); 2006 Salinger Stakes (Dance Hero); and 1996 and 2000 AJC Metropolitans (Hula Flight, Coco Cobanna).