If charges against the four Aquanita trainers are proven, millions of dollars in prizemoney could flow to others
|If charges against the four Aquanita trainers are proven, millions of dollars in prizemoney could flow to others - 11th Jan 2018|
If charges against the four Aquanita trainers are proven, millions of dollars in prizemoney could flow to others|
If the multiple charges against Aquanita trainers Robert Smerdon, Tony Vasil, Stuart Webb and Liam Birchley are proven, millions of dollars in prizemoney could be returned to owners, trainers and jockeys dating back to 2010.
The four trainers face an aggregate of 128 charges.
Racing Victoria officials confirmed that if the charges against the trainers are proven, the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) will determine whether the horses will lose any applicable placings, and prizemoney associated with such results.
In all previous drug cases when a guilty verdict has been determined, the horse loses the race and the prizemoney was repatriated.
When horses had won major races and are disqualified, those that finished behind the winner will not only earn prizemoney but their breeding profile will improve immensely.
Racing Victoria will consider over the next 24 hours if the eight charged racing identities trainers Smerdon, Vasil, Webb, Birchley and Trent Pennuto as well as fellow Aquanita employees Greg Nelligan, Denise Nelligan and Daniel Garland will be stood down pending a hearing later in the year.
If Racing Victoria chooses to stand the group down, show cause notices will have to be answered by the eight if they wish to continue.
If the trainers are stood down, it also raises questions about the future of Aquanita, one of the biggest racehorse-training operations in the nation.
Normally when a trainer is found guilty he loses his ability to train for a period of time. During this suspension, he has no training business.
However, because of the corporate structure of Aquanita, there is the possibility the operation will continue.
On Tuesday the racing world was rocked when trainers and stablehands associated with the powerful training centre were hit with more than 250 charges of corrupt and improper practice.
The charges relate to the administration of alkalising agent bicarbonate of soda on race day.
It is alleged that in many instances the horses were treated on arrival at the races or soon thereafter.
Treatment in this manner could enable the horses to swab clean when blood tested on arrival as there would not have been time for the blood bicarb level to be elevated above the threshold.
However, bicarb is progressively absorbed over two hours, meaning that at race time the horses would have levels elevated above the other horses, giving them enhanced endurance.
Article courtesy of Fairfax Digital and Brisbane Times