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This was reported August 17, 2010. For heaven's sake!!!! A whole $50 bet? What on earth are we turning in to in this country?

A WINNING $50 bet placed at a TAB is at the centre of an inquiry that led to Queensland harness racing's Martin Knibbs being stood down.

The Herald Sun has learnt a staff member at a TAB outlet in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley sparked the investigation by alleging Knibbs played a role in placing a $50 bet on pacer Major Nightmare to win at last Wednesday night's Gold Coast harness meeting.

Major Nightmare led throughout and paid $4.40 for the win.

Knibbs, a steward of 25 years' experience, including stints officiating in thoroughbred racing in Sydney and Hong Kong, told friends he was devastated by the accusation, he had not placed the bet and was innocent of any wrongdoing.

The TAB operator said Knibbs entered the TAB at the Elephant and Wheelbarrow hotel with two other men an hour before Major Nightmare's race.

"I knew of Mr Knibbs and recognised him when he entered the TAB," the operator said.

"I watched as he approached an Iselect (information) terminal and called up the fourth race at Gold Coast.

"A couple of minutes later, one of the men placed a $50 bet on Major Nightmare. Mr Knibbs and the other man had left by then.

"I couldn't actually see who filled out the (betting) ticket from where I was, but I knew there was CCTV footage from six different angles."

The operator said he had immediately reported the bet to TAB head office, Racing Queensland's integrity department and Queensland's Crime and Misconduct Commission.

"I watched some CCTV footage from the Elephant and Wheelbarrow with the technician (on Friday) and it appeared Mr Knibbs filled out the ticket and left it on the bench before one of the men with him placed the bet," he said.

Knibbs was stood down from duties late on Friday.

Racing Queensland director of integrity operations Jamie Orchard would not comment on any specifics of the allegations, but stressed that though stewards were not allowed to bet, there was nothing prohibiting them entering a TAB.

Knibbs did not return calls yesterday. It is understood he told friends he stopped at the Elephant and Wheelbarrow for several beers and as they left for dinner his friend said he wanted to have $50 on Major Nightmare.

He also has told friends he looked at the TAB monitors, but did not fill out the ticket.

Knibbs was reportedly stunned by the accusation and is to challenge vigorously the accusation he had a bet.