RACING NSW has laid charges against jockey Adam Hyeronimus and his cousin, licensed stablehand Blake Paine, who is accused of placing dozens of bets over a two-and-a-half year period in which the jockey is alleged to have had an interest, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Racing NSW stewards forensically imaged years worth of data from the phone of Hyeronimus before alleging he was party to 31 bets made by his cousin, including one on a horse that landed one of the biggest plunges in Sydney for years.

Stewards allege Hyeronimus was party to a $500 bet on Tim Martin’s Limbo Soul, which he rode to victory on debut at Rosehill in February 2017. The horse was sensationally offered as much as $26 in pre-post markets before jumping at $3.20.

Hyeronimus is one of the most popular jockeys in Sydney and faces a minimum two years on the sidelines unless he can beat the charges or prove that a special circumstance exists, in which he may receive a discount.

He has built his career on the backing of Gai Waterhouse’s powerful Tulloch Lodge stable, which also previously employed Paine as a stablehand. Hyeronimus has enjoyed his best season in the saddle, notching his first group 1 win on Waterhouse and Adrian Bott’s Shout The Bar in the Vinery Stud Stakes.

James McDonald was the last NSW jockey to face a public inquiry on betting charges. The Sydney premiership leader lost his $1 million-a-year retainer at Godolphin for having an interest in a $1000 bet on Astern. He rode the colt to a debut win and was disqualified for 18 months before making a remarkable return to the saddle.