Godolphin will continue to support jockey James McDonald after it was announced he faces charges over an alleged betting offence. McDonald, who is Godolphins retained jockey in Australia, has stood himself down from riding after he was charged with either betting on, or being involved with a bet, on one of his mounts at Randwick last year.McDonald is alleged to have had a betting interest in Astern, whom he partnered to victory at the Sydney track on December 5, 2015. A statement issued by Godolphin read: His decision to step down from riding, pending the outcome of the investigation, is the right one.We will continue to support him throughout this process.Prior to the outcome of this inquiry, and in order not to prejudice the findings, we will make no further comment.Racing New South Wales stewards announced the charges on Tuesday, immediately interviewing McDonald after acting on what was described as intelligence received.Following the interview, Racing NSW stewards issued a charge against McDonald, citing a rule concerning penalising any rider if he bets, or has any interest in a bet on any race or contingency relating to thoroughbred racing involving a race in which he is riding.The stewards added that for the purposes of this rule, a bet includes a lay bet.McDonald was not required to enter a plea, and the stewards accepted his request to be permitted to voluntarily stand himself down from riding immediately, pending the hearing of the charge.A date has yet to be fixed for the charge to be heard.Racing NSW chairman of stewards Marc van Gestel told racing.com: There are a number of forensic materials that we need to go through, including betting information and other records.We intend to interview other people involving the matter and once those interviews and forensic investigations have been completed we will resume.But it might be a matter of weeks until we can revisit the matter.McDonald enjoyed a lucrative spell in Britain over the summer, partnering the likes of Dutch Connection to win the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood, Big Orange to lift the Princess Of Waless Stakes at Newmarket and Antiquarium, who landed the Northumberland Plate. 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Even if Ernie Merrick doesnt coach another game, his record as the most successful mentor in the A-Leagues history will take some beating.Only Graham Arnold is within cooee of Merricks 100 A-League wins, a benchmark that cements the former Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix coachs place in A-League history.Merrick resigned as Phoenix coach on Sunday night after a 2-0 loss to previously winless Adelaide United.It is likely to spell the end of Merricks senior coaching career.At 63, Merrick would be the oldest man in the leagues history to begin a fresh coaching stint.The Edinburgh-born Scottish-Australian coach can look back on a fantastic legacy.He is the only man to be named coach of the year twice and the only man to win the premiership-championship double twice.In 2007, Archie Thompson led a 6-0 grand final rout of Adelaide United to secure the clubs first title.Two years later, Tom Pondeljaks goal over the Reds in another grand final confirmed Victory as the leagues biggest club.So much of that was because of Merrick.He led Victorys original recruitment efforts, bringing Archie Thompson and Kevin Muscat among others to the club.Long-time rival Graham Arnold said he was saddened by the resignation of a fantastic guy.Hes the most successful and experienced coach in the A-League in terms of trophies and games, he said on Monday.Its (Phoenix coach) got to be he hardest job in the A-League.The traveel is very difficult but then having to deal with the international FIFA windows and losing players.ddddddddddddIn the first eight or nine games hes lost players for two games ... theyre fatigued, then you lose and it just rattles players confidence and its hard to bring everything back together, especially in the public eye.Merrick was the last foundation coach to be sacked when the increasingly ambitious Victory board fired him in 2011 after a 5-1 Asian Champions League loss to Gamba Osaka.At Wellington, Merrick was a victim of raised expectations - hopes hed raised himself.Merrick told AAP the clubs sights were set on a top-four finish after a pre-season with nine wins from 10 games and the additions of Kosta Barbarouses, Gui Finkler and Marco Rossi.Im very upbeat about this team, he said in early October.Were buzzing in Wellington because weve got such a strong squad. It would have to be the strongest squad since Ive been at the club.Despite resigning his post on Sunday, Merrick believed - both at the start of the season and now - that the Nix could be champions this season.In the shadow of the 2-0 loss to the Adelaide, Merrick said the team was certainly good enough to make the finals still with a strong run.If we did we could get in the finals and do something, he said. ' ' '