Kavanagh and O’Brien to continue fight

Trainers Danny O’Brien and Mark Kavanagh are looking to having a penalty hearing as soon as possible after being found guilty of cobalt charges.

The Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board handed down a guilty verdict against the trainers and vet Tom Brennan on Wednesday.

Four O’Brien-trained horses and the Kavanagh-trained Magicool returned levels of cobalt above the 200 micrograms per litre of urine threshold in races last year.

The minimum penalty carries a three-year disqualification.

O’Brien, speaking for both trainers after the verdict, said they were looking forward to having the penalty hearing as soon as possible and moving the case to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

“It appears neither Mark nor I were aware cobalt was administered to our horses but they have still found us guilty, O’Brien said.

“We believe they haven’t actually interpreted the rules the way we certainly argued.

“We have been down this path before with the show cause hearing where there was legal argument there and we got the right result at VCAT.

“We’re looking forward to moving forward with this and hopefully getting a penalty hearing as soon as possible and then getting a VCAT date.”

O’Brien said there had been some issues raised with not only their case but also that of Peter Moody who earlier in the week had his hearing before the RAD Board adjourned until February.

Counsel for the trainers was unable to cross examine Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey and Dion Villella, from RV’s Compliance and Assurance Team, during the seven-day hearing, but will get that opportunity at VCAT.

They will also get the opportunity to question members of Racing Analytical Services.

“When we do get to VCAT, with the power of subpoena, we hope to find out some of the things we were hoping to find out in this hearing but didn’t,” O’Brien said.

“We will be looking forward to cross examining Mr Bailey and also Mr Villella and the people from RASL.

“There has been some real issues raised with our case and Peter Moody’s.

“The silence on those issues has been deafening from RVL and when we get to VCAT there will be nowhere to hide.”

Judge Russell Lewis adjourned the hearing, saying the RAD Board was available to sit again on January 4 depending on the availability of counsel for RV, the trainers and Brennan who was absent at the Wednesday’s announcement.

Brennan is also appealing a six year disqualification handed down by Racing NSW stewards in September for his role in the cobalt case against Sydney trainer Sam Kavanagh.


Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au

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