A TOP young jockey claims he is the victim of a smear campaign after a video was leaked appearing to show him chopping up a line of cocaine.
The post claimed that Benoit de la Sayette, 18, took the class-A drug hours after winning the £100,000 Lincoln at Doncaster on Saturday.
But the rising star, who has been dubbed the next Frankie Dettori, strongly denied that he had taken cocaine and says the video was recorded two years ago.
The short clip, which appears to have originally been posted on the Snapchat account of jockey Jack Osborn, shows de la Sayette’s face before flipping to reveal two other people in the room and lines of cocaine on a toilet cistern.
The caption on the video reads: “Racing[s] future star or Newmarket’s biggest junkie.
“Well done Benoit. Wins the Lincoln then gets on the Gear.”
In a statement on behalf of the teenager, the Professional Jockeys Association said the rider was the victim of an attempted smear.
It added that de la Sayette, who rode the John Gosden-trained 9-2 shot Haqeeqy to success in the historic Lincoln Handicap, was driven to and from the races by his dad.
The statement read: “A film has been tweeted from an account purporting to be Benoit De La Sayette’s.
“The film was apparently first circulated in the aftermath of Benoit’s victory aboard Haqeeqy in the Unibet Lincoln at Doncaster on Saturday 27 March.
“For the avoidance of doubt, this account is not Benoit’s nor is it under his control.
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“This carefully edited film maliciously suggests that Benoit was taking cocaine after winning the aforementioned race.
“Benoit lives with his parents and was driven to and from Doncaster on Saturday by his father along with another jockey, and spent the evening at home with his parents.
“He was also riding at Doncaster on Sunday and once again driven there and back by his father.”
It continued: “The film is actually from October 2019 when he was 16, nine months prior to Benoit being licenced.
“He was at a party in Lambourn and filmed being in the presence of cocaine that others, not him, were taking. He did not and does not take cocaine.
“Whoever is responsible for the distribution of this film is clearly intent on trying to cause significant damage to a young man at the start of his career.
“The PJA is taking steps to try and have the account that posted the video removed.”
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The teenager has made an instant impact on the track this winter and is the first apprentice Gosden has employed in over 30 years.
He has drawn comparisons with Frankie Dettori after making an incredible start to his career – and the legendary Italian has been mentoring him on the Newmarket gallops.
The son of former French champion amateur jock Geoffrey de la Sayette, he has won 10 of his first 36 rides, including the Lincoln which was his first ever ride on turf.
De la Sayette said after Saturday’s big winner: “Just to ride in the Lincoln on my first turf ride was unbelievable. It’s a dream come true.”