Veterinarian Tom Brennan changes evidence in cobalt inquiry   Leave a comment

Veterinarian Tom Brennan changes evidence in cobalt inquiry

July 22, 2015 – 12:48PM
Trainer Mark Kavanagh.Trainer Mark Kavanagh. Photo: Pat Scala

One of Australia’s foremost veterinary surgeons, Dr Tom Brennan, has told Racing Victoria investigators that two Flemington horse trainers paid him $3000 each to purchase vitamins, which were later shown to contain the banned substance cobalt.

According to evidence given by Brennan, trainers Mark Kavanagh and Danny O’Brien gave the vet a total of $6000 to purchase the vitamins.

Danny O'Brien,Danny O’Brien, Photo: Vince Caligiuri

Brennan also admitted he disposed of an exercise book used by the Flemington Equine Clinic to record postage, including “Express Post that recorded detail of the two bottles being posted to Sam Kavanagh”.

The vet denied knowingly administering cobalt and said he asked who the veterinarian was who supplied the substances, and was assured that they did not contain any prohibited substances, including cobalt.

Brennan has agreed to stand down from providing veterinary services to racehorses in Victoria, effective 1 August 2015, pending the hearing and determination of the charges against him.

The surgeon admitted that he has failed to provide full and frank evidence during the Racing NSW stewards inquiries into elevated cobalt concentrates.

In the Racing Victoria summary released on Tuesday, Brennan gave evidence to the effect that:

a) he administered a substance from a bottle labelled ‘Vitamin Complex’ as an ingredient included in intravenous drips given to horses trained by licensed trainers Mr Mark Kavanagh and Mr O’Brien during Spring 2014;

b) he received payments of $3,000 each from licensed trainers Mr Mark Kavanagh and Mr O’Brien in connection with the supply of the substance, which he asserted he then paid to another veterinarian. It is noted that Mr Mark Kavanagh denies making any payment to Dr Brennan and Mr O’Brien disputes aspects of the evidence in respect of the payment.

The revelations have rocked the Australian racing industry and the impact of Brennan’s claims could well affect the NSW case involving trainer Sam Kavanagh, the son of Mark.

However, Kavanagh denied the accusation and O’Brien disputes aspects of the evidence with regards to the payment.

O’Brien and Kavanagh, along with fellow trainers Lee and Shannon Hope, are facing possible three-year bans after Racing Victoria stewards charged them earlier this year on 29 counts relating to the administration of the banned substance cobalt.

O’Brien (16 counts), Kavanagh (four) and the Hopes (nine) were charged with breaching the rules of racing after eight horses in their stables returned illegally high cobalt readings.

Brennan was earlier this year charged with administering cobalt and that he supplied or caused to supply to O’Brien and Kavanagh a substance containing a high level of cobalt.

The bulk of the charges relate to cobalt levels in excess of the maximum permissible national threshold of 200 micrograms per litre of urine.

In releasing the charges in June, Racing Victoria for the first time detailed the levels of cobalt found. They are: O’Brien – Bondeiger (370mcg/L), Caravan Rolls On (380), De Little Engine (580), Bullpit (320); Mark Kavanagh – Magicool (640); Lee and Shannon Hope – Windy Citi Bear (300), Best Suggestion (550) and Choose (440).

And just last week, premiership-winning trainer Peter Moody was charged with presentation and administration of cobalt to international star Lidari when the horse finished second in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington on the eve of the 2014 spring carnival.

RVL investigators said they would not be commenting on the matter as it is an ongoing investigation.

Read more:


Posted July 23, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: