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Author Topic: Doping Scandal Investigation in Victoria  (Read 19588 times)

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« 2018-Apr-28, 09:44 AM Reply #125 »

.........no positive swabs means no clear offences

You should offer your services to Smerdon's brief he could use a little help judging by his first submission.

Giddy Up :beer:

Offline PoisonPen7

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« 2018-Apr-28, 11:32 AM Reply #126 »

.........no positive swabs means no clear offences

They need a Victorian Royal Commission Pete........

Offline nemisis

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« 2018-Apr-28, 12:04 PM Reply #127 »

.........no positive swabs means no clear offences
Strange comment for someone who see's himself as some sort of punter's advocate but then again you did want to see D Nikolic back in the saddle.

Raceday treatment is a clear offence ....Ben Currie's old man will tell you.

For me right now it has become impossible to know who is clean in this game and it might take some Hong Kong justice to maybe get rid of some of the cheats.....maybe?

I'm sure we are about to find out the goatherder has claimed one The Championships major titles....fantastic stuff!

I'm only watching at the moment and have no confidence in the industry at all.

Offline fours

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« 2018-Apr-28, 12:23 PM Reply #128 »
nemisis,

The stats, or changes in them, nearly always tell the tale.

Fours

Offline nemisis

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« 2018-Apr-28, 12:34 PM Reply #129 »
nemisis,

The stats, or changes in them, nearly always tell the tale.

Fours
Never be on a Smerdon drifter was one stat that never changed........bloody cheat.

Offline Peter Mair

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« 2018-Apr-29, 06:08 AM Reply #130 »


................. 'raceday treatment' is a contrived discretionary rule of the stewards intended to remove judgment in the very circumstances it is critical.

Breaching a 'rule' in a way that does not also trigger a positive swab becomes a moot point when trainers are preparing a horse to do its best, within the limits on bi-carb readings.

It can hardly be considered an ofensive treatment if no limit is breached.

 A discretionary 'rule' in an industry allowed to run itself at the convenience of stewards, may not be a  'rule' likely to be endorsed by a proper court when the substance is itself innocuous.

The only real rule here is the one setting the limit on concentration.

RVL has more to worry about than treated horses not swabbing positive.


Offline nemisis

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« 2018-Apr-29, 08:09 AM Reply #131 »
If the stewards can't be the regulators of the industry then who can?......the trainers? 

You just need good stewards.

Self regulation can never work because greed gets in the way.

Offline wily ole dog

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« 2018-Apr-29, 08:25 AM Reply #132 »
A horse does not need to be treated on Raceday.

End of story

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« 2018-Apr-30, 07:10 PM Reply #133 »
Robert Smerdon had ‘habit of cheating’, RADB told
Posted by: AAP+ at 10:23am on 30/4/2018
Posted in: Horse Racing News
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Multiple Group One-winning trainer Robert Smerdon was in the habit of cheating amid a widespread practice of giving horses covert race day treatments, an inquiry has heard.

Racing Victoria stewards allege horses were given “top-ups” of bicarbonate over seven years, charging five trainers and three stablehands connected to management company Aquanita Racing at Caulfield.

Smerdon and his former stablehand and float driver Greg Nelligan were allegedly involved in more than 100 race day treatments between 2010 and 2017.

Stewards’ barrister Jeff Gleeson QC said it was an extremely widespread and long-standing practice.

“The practice of top-ups among those eight people was knowing, it was brazen and it was systemic,” Gleeson told the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on Monday.

“It was, at least for Smerdon and Nelligan, a habit of cheating.”

Stewards allegedly caught Nelligan administering a substance to the Smerdon-trained Lovani, who was then withdrawn from a race at Flemington on October 7 last year.

The inquiry was shown a video of stewards confronting Nelligan after he removed a yellow bag from under his jacket, took out a syringe and put it into Lovani’s mouth.

“You can imagine the surprise and dismay of Nelligan upon realising that he’d been observed,” Gleeson said.

“He, in a forlorn attempt to cover the matter up, attempted to conceal the plunger and the bag under his clothing.”

The video showed Nelligan telling stewards the substance was “something I made up” and “no one else had anything to do with it”.

Gleeson said there was a disturbing and telling awareness between some of the charged people about what stewards were doing.

“Surveillance of stewards and their activities was a matter of considerable interest to some of the charged persons showing a consciousness of guilt and a desire to avoid being detected.”

Much of the stewards’ case is based on seven years of text messages on Nelligan’s mobile phone.

The tribunal heard those involved claimed the references to “top-ups” actually referred to topping up feed or water for the horses, which Gleeson said was simply implausible.

The text messages include references to the Melbourne Cup, although details about the horses concerned were not revealed.

Gleeson read texts between trainer Liam Birchley and Nelligan on Cup eve in 2015, during which the float driver noted: “got two cup horses as well. Don’t tell Robert.”

Nelligan later adds: “Robert had me do one for the guy with the cup horses a couple of years ago so it’s not out of the circle of trust but I still don’t tell him.”

The tribunal heard Nelligan’s wife Denise, also a registered stablehand, made “reluctant but damning concessions” to stewards.

The five trainers – Smerdon, Birchley, Stuart Webb, Tony Vasil and Trent Pennuto – and three stable employees – the Nelligans and Daniel Garland – were charged under an Australian racing rule dealing with dishonest, corrupt or fraudulent, improper or dishonourable action.

Smerdon, who handed in his trainer’s licence, and the Nelligans are not participating in the inquiry, although the trainer has legal representation.

Only Queensland trainer Birchley, who has pleaded not guilty, attended the hearing on Monday.

Bicarbonate is used to help prevent the build-up of lactic acid but cannot be administered within one clear day of a horse racing.ENDS

Very early in the first day of the hearing for AAP to get the above report out there should be some later information you would think. :chin:

Giddy Up :beer:



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« 2018-Apr-30, 07:15 PM Reply #134 »
Graphic video played at Aquanita Inquiry
Andrew Eddy@fastisheddy   5:25pm

The Aquanita Inquiry began in Melbourne on Monday morning with a Racing Victoria stewards' video showing a graphic account of the alleged "top-up" given to Lovani at the Flemington races early last spring that ignited the far-reaching investigation.

The video shows former Aquanita employee Greg Nelligan in a horse stall with Lovani attempting to hide a syringe containing a substance later to be revealed as a mix of sodium bi-carbonate and tripart paste - both illegal to be administered on race day.

Gleeson told the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board that the video was part of a systematic "habit of cheating" by Nelligan and former trainer Robert Smerdon, who face the majority of the 271 charges arising from the investigation launched after the Lovani incident.

The board heard that the bi-carb mixture was referred to as a "top-up" and Gleeson said the inference was there for the board to resolve that the horses receiving the "top-ups" had also been illegal treated with bi-carb on the morning of the race.

Jeff Gleeson, SC, for Racing Victoria, said that to prove their cases, stewards are to rely on the video of the actions of Nelligan, admissions in evidence given by his wife Denise, hundreds of text messages from some of the eight accused as well as physical exhibits such as the modified syringe used to deliver the substance and the yellow bag labelled "Greg" used to carry the syringe.

Five trainers - Smerdon, Stuart Webb, Tony Vasil, Trent Pennuto, Liam Birchley - and three stable employees - Greg and Denise Nelligan and Daniel Garland - have been charged with 271 counts under a variety of racing rules following the detection of alleged race day treatment of Lovani at Flemington early last spring.

Of this group, only the Queensland-licenced Birchley turned up at the opening of the inquiry on Monday. The board was told that Birchley was likely to take the stand but that Smerdon and the Nelligans would not while the others charged reserved their positions until the end of the stewards' case.

Gleeson told the board that the conduct of Nelligan and Smerdon was "knowing" and "brazen" and that it fulfilled all the parts of Australian Racing Rule 175 (a), which deals with dishonest, corrupt, fraudulent and improper action.

In a stewards' interview last year, Smerdon denied "top-ups" was an illegal bi-carn mixture, claiming that the phrase "top-ups" referred to feeding and hydration of horses.

The board was read a number of the text messages sent from the accused with most of the messages referring to "top-ups" being planned to be given to horses at the races.

RV's chief veterinarian Dr Grace Forbes was put on the stand shortly before luncheon adjournment where she was grilled by Patrick Wheelahan, who was representing Vasil, about whether sodium bi-carbonate was in fact performance-enhancing in racehorses.

Queensland trainer Birchley will take the stand on Tuesday when the hearing resumes. Birchley, who faces three charges, is one of five witnesses to be called by his defence team.

Birchley could be the only one of the eight persons charged to attend the inquiry.

Punters.com report follows

The players in the Aquanita racing case
about an hour ago by AAP
The Aquanita Racing case commenced on MondayImage: Getty
The inquiry into alleged raceday treatment involving eight people connected with Aquanita Racing commenced at the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on Monday.

WHAT IS THE CASE?

It has been called Australia's largest racing inquiry, given the number of charges and people involved.

Racing Victoria stewards say most of the charges relate to the widespread and long-standing practice of alleged covert administration of bicarbonate to horses on race day, via "top-ups" delivered orally through a syringe.

The eight people who have been charged say texts referring to "top-ups" actually refer to topping up feed and water.

WHO HAS BEEN CHARGED?

The five trainers and three stable employees have been charged under an Australian racing rule dealing with dishonest, corrupt or fraudulent, improper or dishonourable action or practice.

All are connected to the management company Aquanita Racing.

ROBERT SMERDON

* Multiple Group-One winning trainer

* Two charges - for being a party to alleged race day treatments of alkalinising agents and/or medications on 115 occasions between June 2010 and October 2017; and allegedly instructing stablehand Greg Nelligan to administer Vicks in the nose of a horse before a race

* Handed in his trainer's licence in March

* Not participating in inquiry but has lawyer there

GREG NELLIGAN

* Smerdon's former stablehand and float driver; also former employee of trainer Tony Vasil

* 10 charges - relate to alleged race day treatments on 123 occasions from 2010 to 2017; also charged with administering Vicks to horse; and three charges for laying horses while employed the trainer

* Not participating in inquiry

DENISE NELLIGAN

* Greg's wife; also stablehand of Smerdon and former Vasil employee

* One charge - related to 13 occasions from 2011 to 2017

* Not participating in inquiry

TONY VASIL

* Group One-winning trainer

* Connected to Aquanita from 2004-5 to about 2012

* One charge - on seven occasions from 2010 to 2013

STUART WEBB

* Group One-winning trainer; Smerdon employee

* One charge - three occasions (two in 2010, one in 2017)

TRENT PENNUTO

* Former trainer

* Worked at Aquanita as Vasil's foreman between 2008 and 2012

* One charge - four occasions from 2010 to 2011

LIAM BIRCHLEY

* Trainer; licensed in Queensland

* Trained under Aquanita banner for 10 years until about 2011

* One charge - three occasions (in 2011, 2012 and 2013)

DANIEL GARLAND

* Smerdon float driver

* One charge - two occasions (in 2011 and 2013)

HOW LONG WILL THE CASE LAST?

Originally tipped to last two weeks, the hearing before Victoria's Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board is now expected to wrap up in a week.

Giddy Up :beer:

« Last Edit: 2018-Apr-30, 07:18 PM by Arsenal »

Offline Peter Mair

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« 2018-May-01, 03:07 AM Reply #135 »


Why would a bit of antacid be considered a 'raceday treatment'?

Do all horses have the same natutral level of a 'bi carb reading'?

What is the point of a limit tht is not exceeded?

This matter is about one thing -- is the proscribing of bi-carb on a raceday in the same class as proscribing other treatments -- is the stewards discretion a reasonable exercise of their powwer?


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« 2018-May-01, 09:14 AM Reply #136 »

Pete You're facing a losing battle...they're GONE.

Nelligen was caught red handed  it's on video .......just like a rabbit in the spotlight...... with  apparatus and mixture in his hand.....he was attempting to treat a horse on a race day it's against the Rules.

The 7 years of text messages establish it's a long running attempt to give the treated horses an unfair advantage.

Pity the RAD board hearing isn't on video link would be very interesting to watch the squiggle and squirming and the implausible explanations on "top ups" that have been alluded to previously.

Giddy Up :beer:

Offline nemisis

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« 2018-May-01, 01:05 PM Reply #137 »
Will be interesting to see how Lloyd Williams reacts to Liam Howley's name coming up in the inquiry.

As an assistant trainer to Smerdon it would be impossible to believe he did not know what was going on.

Offline wily ole dog

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« 2018-May-01, 05:50 PM Reply #138 »

Why would a bit of antacid be considered a 'raceday treatment'?


If you could bothered to answer a question to you, try this one

Why would a trainer give " a bit on antacid" to a horse on raceday?

Offline Peter Mair

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« 2018-May-01, 06:12 PM Reply #139 »

Enlightening the stewards

Vatican stewards once sentenced to eternal damnation those that ate meat on a Friday.

Within limits set by stewards trainers give horses a bit of antacid to assist their ability to race to their best.

The testing question will arise when it is possible to provide a bi-carb boost before race day in a capsule that does not release for 24 hours.

In short, the issue is not about treating the horse within limits it is a penalty for not having a compatible technology.

No swab, no offence and no penalty.

Offline Jeunes

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« 2018-May-01, 06:43 PM Reply #140 »
I know criminal law evidentiary requirements are different to steward rulings but any reason why no referral to the police.

Smerdon and others would be compelled to answer if this was the case as not answering in a trial usually gives jurors food for thought.

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« 2018-May-01, 07:03 PM Reply #141 »
Aquanita case ends with denial
Posted by: AAP+ at 6:01pm on 1/5/2018
Posted in: Horse Racing News
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Queensland trainer Liam Birchley denies any involvement in giving horses race day treatments or knowing about the allegedly widespread practice that extended to Melbourne Cup runners.

Birchley is the only one of the five trainers and three stablehands charged in the Aquanita case to give evidence or even show up to the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board inquiry.

Birchley admitted it looked bad that he asked the person allegedly at the centre of the practice of race day treatments – float driver Greg Nelligan – to organise a “top-up”.

But he maintained it was a common racing term for topping up feed, water or shavings in horses’ boxes.

Racing Victoria stewards allege there was a widespread and brazen practice over seven years of covertly giving horses “top-ups” of sodium bicarbonate on race days among people connected to management company Aquanita Racing at Caulfield.

Much of the stewards’ case is based on seven years of text messages on Nelligan’s mobile phone.

Stewards’ barrister Jeff Gleeson QC, who told the inquiry trainer Robert Smerdon and his stablehand Nelligan had a habit of cheating, said the texts showed those involved talking about top-ups of sodium bicarbonate.

Birchley agreed that seemed to be the case but added “I had no knowledge of that”.

Gleeson said Birchley was suggesting it was just some horrible coincidence that he asked for a top-up when others used the term to mean a top-up of bicarbonate.

“Yes it’s a coincidence. It’s one coincidence,” Birchley said on Tuesday.

A series of texts between Birchley and Nelligan from Cup eve in 2015 began with the trainer asking: “Can u org a top up for tomorrow pls.”

Nelligan replied: “Robert’s ordered 5, I’ll need a wheelbarrow to carry them all.”

Birchley: “You’ve got deep pockets.”

Nelligan: “I’ll be walking funny, got two cup horses as well. Don’t tell Robert.”

Birchley, who told the inquiry he was at a pub drinking at the time and did not remember the text conversation, said he did not know what Nelligan meant.

Gleeson suggested Birchley knew Nelligan’s text meant he was “topping up” two Cup horses, which the trainer denied.

Nelligan’s final text said: “Robert had me do one for the guy with the cup horses a few years ago so it’s not out of the circle of trust but I still don’t tell him.”

Birchley said he did not take any notice of that text nor reply.

“It did not make any sense to me,” he told RAD Board chair Judge John Bowman.

Gleeson suggested Birchley knew the circle of trust referred to a group of people who knew about the practice of administering sodium bicarbonate to horses on race day.

Birchley responded: “Definitely not.”

Five trainers – Smerdon, Birchley, Stuart Webb, Tony Vasil and Trent Pennuto – and three stable employees – Nelligan, his wife Denise and Daniel Garland – were charged under an Australian racing rule dealing with dishonest, corrupt or fraudulent, improper or dishonourable action.

Smerdon and the Nelligans are not participating in the inquiry.

The hearing will resume on Thursday afternoon for closing arguments.

Judge Bowman rejected submissions from lawyers representing Birchley Vasil & Pennuto that the text messages should not be admitted into evidence......report follows

Giddy Up :beer:

Offline wily ole dog

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« 2018-May-01, 07:04 PM Reply #142 »
Enlightening the stewards

Vatican stewards once sentenced to eternal damnation those that ate meat on a Friday.

Within limits set by stewards trainers give horses a bit of antacid to assist their ability to race to their best.

The testing question will arise when it is possible to provide a bi-carb boost before race day in a capsule that does not release for 24 hours.

In short, the issue is not about treating the horse within limits it is a penalty for not having a compatible technology.

No swab, no offence and no penalty.

As John McEnroe famously said.

Answer the question jerk.


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« 2018-May-01, 07:07 PM Reply #143 »
Top-ups' meaning a coincidence: Birchley
Andrew Eddy@fastisheddy   5:08pm
, (
Trainer Liam Birchley agreed it was a 'horrible coincidence' that the common racing term 'top-up' appeared to have multiple meanings - one of them indicating a secondary dose of sodium bicarbonate shortly before a race.

Birchley, who faces three of the 271 charges laid in the Aquanita Inquiry, said on Tuesday afternoon that the evidence to stewards of co-accused Denise Nelligan indicated that 'top-ups' also meant the practice of giving a horse a second dose of bi-carb closer to its racing.

"That obviously seems to be the case," Birchley told Racing Victoria's barrister Jeff Gleeson, SC.

Gleeson asked: "They were using the term differently to you?"

Birchley replied: "That's my belief."

Birchley had earlier given evidence that 'top-ups' was a common term in racing stables used to describe extra food, water or even bed shavings for some of the horses.

He denied having any knowledge of horses being 'topped-up' or being treated with any substance within the one-day withholding period.

Earlier, RAD Board Chairman Judge John Bowman confirmed RV's spreadsheet of text messages were admissible to the hearing.

Judge Bowman was responding to calls from the legal representatives of three of the accused - Tony Vasil, Trent Pennuto and Birchley - to rule the spreadsheets as inadmissible as they were imaged from the phone of Greg Nelligan, who had indicated he would not appear at the hearing to answer questions about the messages.

The RAD Board had earlier ruled the spreadsheets could be used in evidence.

"In a case of this nature and with the magnitude of material, the admission of evidence in a general form and subject to subsequent arguments concerning weight, truth, individual admissibility and the like seems to us to breach no rule of natural justice," Judge Bowman said.

"Objections to individual text messages concerning what weight if any should be attached to them can be dealt with as they arise.

"From a total of some 70,000 text messages found on Mr Nelllgan's phone, it is the setting out of the messages upon which stewards rely in presenting their case."

Given all the witnesses had been heard, the RAD Board adhered to a request for Wednesday to be a 'lay-day' in the hearing so as the parties can prepare their final written submissions.

The oral submissions will take place from noon on Thursday.ENDS

It's a question of whether Judge Bowman believes Birchley as Applegarth J said in the RQL Tatts case referring to  Bob Bentley's evidence .."I might believe him or I might not"

Giddy Up :beer:
« Last Edit: 2018-May-01, 07:11 PM by Arsenal »

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« 2018-May-01, 07:17 PM Reply #144 »
BIRCHLEY CLAIMS HE WAS DRUNK & DIDN’T REMEMBER SENDING TEXTS

QUEENSLAND trainer Liam Birchley has denied being involved in giving horses race day treatments or knowing about a "circle of trust" of people behind the practice that allegedly extended to Melbourne Cup runners.

PATRICK BARTLEY reports for FAIRFAX MEDIA that Racing Victoria stewards allege horses were given "top-ups" of bicarbonate over seven years, charging five trainers and three stablehands connected to management company Aquanita Racing at Caulfield.

On day two of the hearing into the Aquanita racing scandal, Birchley said that he was drunk after being at a Melbourne bar for a “long time” and could not recall sending text messages to the person allegedly at the centre of the scandal, Greg Nelligan, on the eve of the 2015 Melbourne Cup.

Jeff Gleeson, QC, for the stewards, pressed the trainer for some time about the team of horses that Birchley had brought down for the Victorian spring carnival in 2015 and about one in particular, Pop ‘N’ Scotch, who started on Melbourne Cup Day.

Birchley said after drinking with owners at the Riverside Bar the day before the 2015 Cup, he left the bar “pretty merry” and had “no recollection” of sending any text messages to anyone.

Gleeson asked Birchley if it was just some horrible coincidence that he texted Nelligan and asked for a top-up when those involved in the practice used the phrase in a different context.

Birchley replied: "That's my belief, yes".

"There wouldn't be a stable in the country that didn't use the term," he said.

A series of texts between Birchley and Nelligan - who worked for then-trainer Robert Smerdon - from Cup eve in 2015 began with the trainer asking: "Can u org a top up for tomorrow pls".

Birchley agreed with Gleeson that it looked bad.

"I can see why it's being investigated and I agree 100 per cent," he said.

Nelligan texted back to Birchley: "Robert's ordered 5, I'll need a wheelbarrow to carry them all."

Birchley: "You've got deep pockets."

Nelligan: "I'll be walking funny, got two cup horses as well. Don't tell Robert."

Birchley told the inquiry he did not know what Nelligan meant.

"I don't recall the conversation."

Gleeson said Birchley knew Nelligan's text meant he was "topping up" two Cup horses.

The trainer said: "No, not at all".

In the November 2015 texts, Nelligan went on to say: "Robert had me do one for the guy with the cup horses a few years ago so it's not out of the circle of trust but I still don't tell him."

Asked about that text, Birchley said he did not take any notice of it.

Gleeson said: "You knew the circle of trust is a reference to a group of people who knew about the practice of administering sodium bicarbonate to horses on race day."

Birchley: "Definitely not."

Birchley said he had never administered a medication, alkalinising agent or a prohibited substance to a horse on a race day.

He also told the inquiry he never asked anyone to do so nor was a party to it.

Birchley, Smerdon, Nelligan and five others were charged under an Australian racing rule dealing with dishonest, corrupt or fraudulent, improper or dishonourable action.

Stewards allege Birchley was a party to the administration on three occasions during the 2011, 2012 and 2015 Melbourne spring carnival.ENDS


Strange there's no question about what top up Birchley asked Nelligen to do for him ....feed ..water ..shavings seems implausible to me he would ask for those things when you would assume he would have a stable hand of his own looking after the horses while he was in town.

Giddy Up :beer:


 

Offline wily ole dog

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« 2018-May-02, 07:40 AM Reply #145 »

If you could bothered to answer a question to you, try this one

Why would a trainer give " a bit on antacid" to a horse on raceday?

Still awaiting Mairs answer

It appears integrity issues lay with Mair and not RVC

Offline Authorized

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« 2018-May-02, 01:16 PM Reply #146 »

And So the Aquanita Circus Ends, Not With a Bang, But a Whimper …… The Hollow Man Terry Bailey Must Now Be Bid Adieu – He Shall Be Missed By None

So that’s it is it?

Is that all there is?

An opening day full of a QC making baseless accusations without a shred of solid evidence to support them.

A second day where only one witness – Liam Birchley – gives evidence and is cross-examined, and says that the Stewards have misinterpreted the texts* and that they refer to topping up the feed and water. This is entirely consistent with the brief answers given by Greg Nelligan at the earliest stages of the inquiry that has resulted in the proceedings.

* Text messages from a telephone seized from former Aquanita truck driver and stablehand Greg Nelligan that are oblique and can be interpreted in a number of different ways.

No admissions by any person.

No signed statements.

No witnesses other than Birchley, who even on the most damning of constructions is simply a minor player in the Aquanita affair, and his travelling stable foreman the former star apprentice whose career was derailed by the handicap of being born with a frame too big for a jockey Aiden Holt.

Holt’s evidence is uncontroversial other than that his recollection of the time that he arrived at the Flemington course with a stable runner on Cup Day is an hour out. He says he arrived at about 7.30am, records show that he arrived at about 8.30am.

Holt is a Queenslander and that State does not have daylight saving, which commenced in Victoria that year just 4 weeks before. It is entirely plausible that he simply forgot to move the time on his watch forward an hour.

No positive swabs.

No evidence whatsoever that any horse has ever received any race day treatment other than the Robert Smerdon trained Lovani that Nelligan was found in the stall with Flemington in the incident that sparked the whole debacle.

Tests conducted on Lovani reveal minor traces of traces of bicarbonate and formaldehyde well below regulated threshold levels. Both are contained in common foods and vitamin supplements.

And that’s it for your couple of hundred thousand dollars and countless pages of newspaper print.

A big fat zero.

Nelligan and Smerdon will be convicted – the former was found in Lovani’s stall with a syringe, and the latter presented the horse to race as a trainer – but that’s a single offence and in many cases a conviction for it only results in a fine. Of course in this case the pair will be hit with a long ban from the sport because they are easy game and don’t care, and the Victorian Stewards need to save at least some face from this total kiss-up.

None of the other trainers or licensees, including Liam Birchley, can be possibly be convicted of the alleged breach of the rules they have been charged with, for their alleged misdemeanours are being party to the administration of a substance to a horse on race day, and there isn’t even the slightest skerrick of evidence to support the charge.

Even taking the prosecution case as its absolute highest and assuming the texts mean what the Stewards say they do – and there is absolutely nil evidence that is the case – then the worst scenario for Birchley and others is that they asked Nelligan to give their horse a bicarb hit on race morning (there is no evidence that this is actually true, but we are pretending here).

That doesn’t mean it was actually given one does it?

I ask Maggie to do things for me all the time and she says sure and then forgets. I do the same, and I am sure that you do too. So how could just asking for something to be done prove in a million years that what you asked for was actually done?

It can’t.

It’s as simple as that.

To prove these charges the Stewards needed to prove 2 elements of the alleged breach: first that Birchley and others were party to the administration of a substance on race day by virtue of them having asked for it, and second that the substance was actually administered.

Racing Victoria haven’t even gone close to proving the first charge, and in the complete absence of any evidence haven’t even bothered trying to prove the second.

The whole thing is a farce and a joke, and a whole lot of people are going to have a whole lot of egg on their faces in about a weeks time when this is all said and done.

People like the racing writer Leo Schlink – who all but called Birchley and others disgraceful criminals, and should be sued by the trainers for plenty – and Marc Van Gestel of the NSW Stewards who banned Birchley from racing in NSW, and the race-hating pontificator from his imagined pulpit Patrick Smith of The Australian, the man who made great play of pounding on about 271 counts but failed to mention that Birchley, Webb, Vasil and Pennuto only face a single charge each,  who hates horse racing and calls our great love ‘the dodgy sport’.

Well who is dodgy now Patrick and co? I’ll give you a clue, it ain’t Liam Birchley.

Of course the man most culpable for this highly embarrassing (to RV) and incredibly damaging (to the charged trainers) total debacle and utter farce is the man who started the fire and kept stoking it with leaked information and cryptic public statements Terry Bailey, the Chief Steward of racing in Victoria, but not for very much longer you can be assured.

Bailey has ballsed a major inquiry up again, just he like he did on the cobalt issue and his attempt to induce a stable hand to agree to be planted as a spy in Peter Moody’s stable, and as he did in the early stages of his pursuit of Danny Nikolic before the jockey’s inability to control his temper and a hail of bullets shot into Bailey’s door changed the ball game and gave police the imprimatur to save Bailey’s reputation by recommending the rider’s permanent exile from the game.

If anything useful is to come out of this whole circus it is the message that the new police-style powers granted to integrity officials and the cop-like methods of managing integrity in racing don’t work.

As Peter Moody pointed out in his recent biography most racing people aren’t crooks, yet under the new integrity model everyone in the industry is by default viewed and treated as one. It’s just plain wrong, and horribly unfair. There are bad eggs in every basket but it doesn’t mean the whole basket’s rotten.

Terry Bailey’s track record is rotten though, and his career now lies shredded on the floor in tatters. His departure from Australian racing can’t come quick enough, and save your sympathy for someone else, for Bailey through hubris and arrogance and a lack of respect for the good people of our sport has brought the whole thing on himself.

No-one will be sorry to see him gone.

Postscript: It’s funny how an alleged lunatic picked the truth about the Aquanita affair months before the mainstream media saw the trees through the woods isn’t is sportsfans? Just as it was strange that the same claimed madman was the only one to tell you about the Eagle Farm track and a whole host of other issues. Perhaps the people pointing the finger at the news breaker are the mad bastards after all? Or maybe they are just mealy-mouthed malefactors with a whole heap to hide ……..


Offline Authorized

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« 2018-May-02, 01:35 PM Reply #147 »

Offline Peter Mair

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« 2018-May-02, 05:05 PM Reply #148 »

Nailed -- now bring the cross


................. I do not know who 'authorised' is but he does seem to have nailed this Aquanita nonsense for the contrived beat up it was.

If the discretionary  'rule' on raceday treatment was set aside there would, without a positivce swab, be no penalty to be imposed on anyone.



Offline Authorized

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« 2018-May-02, 05:07 PM Reply #149 »
Nailed -- now bring the cross


................. I do not know who 'authorised' is but he does seem to have nailed this Aquanita nonsense for the contrived beat up it was.

If the discretionary  'rule' on raceday treatment was set aside there would, without a positivce swab, be no penalty to be imposed on anyone.

No no no no no, We are on different pages, Some goose named Archie Butterfly seems to agree with you.



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