They Fix Races Don’t They was a thirty-minute documentary produced and directed by the researcher and screened on BBC 1 on the 11th of June, 2002. The documentary research was an exposé of horse race fixing. The aftermath of the programme lead to an investigation into the integrity of the sport and disciplinary action against three leading trainers by the Jockey Club.
Both the secretiveness of the racing world and the unlawful activities surrounding race-fixing required the researcher to develop innovative investigative strategies. One of these involved buying a racehorse and placing that horse with a trainer who preliminary inquiries had indicated was suspected of fixing races for profit. Another aspect of the six month research was the adoption of undercover audio and video recording (amounting to over forty hours of material). Hidden surveillance was combined with the gathering of evidence from a range of sources including former jockeys, bookmakers, police investigators and criminals to substantiate the researcher’s findings.
Among the documentary’s original findings were the facts that three of the sport’s leading trainers were prepared to suggest different methods of cheating to make money; that a former jockey told how he was paid to lose races; and that a retired bookmaker said he had jockeys on his payroll to throw races.