Former champion jockey Robbie Fradd told a race-fixing trial yesterday he had restrained his mount during a race to avoid it running out of energy, describing it as a tactical decision. The South African rider testified after Deputy Judge Colin Mackintosh ruled in the District Court that he had a case to answer to the charge of cheating at gambling. Fradd said it was impossible to let his mount, Winning Dragon, run as fast as it could and it was necessary to hold it back. He also said he did not want to run on the heels of the horses in front as it would be dangerous. Answering criticism from prosecution expert witness New Zealander Gavin John Whiterod, who said Winning Dragon should have filled in the gap behind the leading horse, the jockey said: 'It would definitely have been wrong if I had done that.' The prosecution alleges Fradd, 37, won money for himself or 'any other person unascertained' connected with placing bets with the Hong Kong Jockey Club on the outcome of the race on the night of January 16. Fradd denies one count of cheating at gambling. He was arrested in February along with 20 others on suspicion of race-fixing. The jockey said he had expected Victory Marble, which won the race that night, would be leading the race and that another horse, Merry Merry, which took the gap, would also tend to lead because they were older and more experienced. Winning Dragon was a three-year-old and the race was its third start, the court heard. Fradd denied placing any bet on the race for himself or anyone else. John Matthew Schreck, the chief stipendiary steward of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, said he disagreed with Mr Whiterod and said Fradd's restraining of the horse was 'perfectly legitimate' and 'justifiable'. Mr Schreck, who has had 33 years' experience as a stipendiary steward for jockey clubs in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong, said he was disappointed that Mr Whiterod did not go to the Happy Valley racecourse to watch the races, the track and other facilities before judging Fradd's riding. He said the charge against Fradd was wrong. Mr Schreck said although Winning Dragon was an even-money favourite to win the North Island Handicap on that day, it did not mean it would definitely win. According to statistics, only 27 per cent of favourites won their races. Four other Jockey Club stipendiary stewards - Jamie Andrew Stier, Kam Shiu-bor, Tony Lam Tsun-hin and Martin Maxwell Knibbs - also testified that they did not question Fradd's riding and believed he was only 'settling the horse' in the early stage of the race. The hearing continues today.