Racing Victoria show-cause notice a backflip in cobalt cases   Leave a comment

Racing Victoria show-cause notice a backflip in cobalt cases

July 27, 2015 – 12:10AM

Chris Roots

Racing Victoria's general manager of integrity services Dayle Brown, right.Racing Victoria’s general manager of integrity services Dayle Brown, right. Photo: Supplied

Racing Victoria’s decision to issue show-cause notices against the trainers facing cobalt charges is a remarkable backflip from a position expressed by its general manager of integrity services Dayle Brown last month.

The only piece of evidence, which appears to have changed in the time since the June radio interview by Brown was that vet Tom Brennan had come forward to correct his evidence in relation to the Mark Kavanagh and Danny O’Brien cases last week.

Brown said on RSN’s Racing Ahead program that there were three separate cases involving cobalt in Victoria – Lee and Shannon Hope, the Peter Moody case involving Lidari, and the Kavanagh and O’Brien cases, which “have some commonality” in them. He went on to clearly state the view of the regulatory body at the time.

“The trainers maintain that view and we’ve got to a case now where a prima-facie case has been established and charges have been issued,” Brown said. “The trainers maintain their position and they’re entitled to test those charges before a tribunal of fact, in this case being the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board.

“Given the circumstances of this case and given the way the case has been investigated, we feel, in these particular circumstances, and the stewards are of the same view, that to stand the trainers down is not appropriate and they’re entitled to meet these charges.”

Racing Victoria’s announcement of the show-cause notices on Friday night has drawn a strong response from Damian Sheales, who is the legal counsel for Kavanagh and O’Brien. He wants the hearings to be open to the media on Wednesday, not closed, as Racing Victoria indicated they would be in its release.

“We’ve got absolutely nothing to hide. We want it all on the table,” Sheales said in a statement.

So, why the backflip? There is some mail around it could have something to do with concerns expressed by European raiders hoping to head to Melbourne for the spring. Racing Victoria’s international scout Leigh Jordon said while no overseas trainer had actually told him of any concerns, there was discussion around the cobalt issue because it was topical.

Costin’s dilemma

Winona Costin will be crowned Sydney’s champion apprentice this week but her job to outride her metropolitan claim just got tougher after Racing NSW’s restructure of the claim system from October 1. The 20-year-old didn’t know how to react to having her ability to claim lifted from 80 wins to 90 under the new scale.

“I really want to outride my claim, that’s a goal. But I get an extra 10 wins where I will have an advantage, I guess that’s good,” Costin said. “Everyone wants to outride their claim as an apprentice. I have nine months to go and have 53 winners in town now, so I thought I could do it. I still think I will get there but 10 more wins could make it interesting.”

The post-apprentice claim system problem won’t affect Costin but the ability to claim as a fully fledged jockey for the first 12 months got the thumbs down from Sam Clipperton, who finishes his first year as a senior rider this week.

“I would have hated that. I couldn’t wait to be known as a jockey not an apprentice,” Clipperton said.

Canterbury meetings

The wear and tear on Sydney racetracks seems to draw comment week in, week out but all the talk about the surface at Canterbury was positive on Saturday.

Sure, it was heavy and some horses didn’t handle it, but as Kris Lees put it after Brook Road’s win, “it’s even”.

Remember, Canterbury had a good rest when it was used as the quarantine centre for The Championship and it shows. The reason Rosehill and Randwick are used so often on Saturdays is that turnover drops when racing is away from the two main tracks.

Canterbury is under-utilised for Saturday meetings, especially in the winter. Punters will only get confidence in the track by seeing more meetings held there.

Gai’s Cup honour

If you want an indication how important the Melbourne Cup is to any trainer, look no further than Gai Waterhouse. The Hall Of Fame boss of Tulloch Lodge has won more than 100 group 1s, including Golden Slippers, Doncasters and most big races in her home town. But when it came to naming her Southern Highlands property, only one name would fit the bill – Fiorente.

Move on cash

The prizemoney from the races affected by the Darren Smith cobalt hearing has yet to be distributed but with the final avenue of appeal in racing terms, the Racing Appeal Tribunal, handing down its judgment last week, it is not far away. Chief steward Ray Murrihy said it would more than likely be processed this week. The RAT still has to get submissions from Smith on the penalty to decide if his 15-year disqualification will stand. An appeal on the grounds of guilt was dismissed last week.

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Posted July 28, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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