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Victorian trainer and stable employee charged over bona fides of ownership of five racehorses
15 May 2017 | ThoroughbredNEWS News Desk 
Racing Victoria (RV) Stewards on Monday issued two charges against registered stable employee Mr Ben Connolly and four charges in the alternative against licensed trainer Mr Ciaron Maher as a result of an investigation into the bona fides of the ownership of five racehorses: Azkadellia, Loveable Rogue, Hart, Mr Simples and Little Bubulu [“the horses”].

The charges relate to horse ownership disclosures from Mr Connolly which the Stewards allege to be false and/or misleading and deceptive.

Ben Connolly

Charge 1: Dishonest, improper and/or dishonourable action or practice

Mr Connolly has been charged with breaching AR 175(a) which reads as follows:

AR 175 The Principal Racing Authority (or the Stewards exercising powers delegated to them) may penalise:

(a) Any person, who, in their opinion, has been guilty of any dishonest, corrupt, fraudulent, improper or dishonourable action or practice in connection with racing.

Charge 2: Misrepresentation of misleading and/or inaccurate information

Mr Connolly has been charged with breaching AR 56B which reads as follows:

AR 56B Any person who, in the opinion of the Stewards, fails to declare any share or interest in, misrepresents or provides any misleading or inaccurate information regarding the ownership of a horse, or is a party to any breach of this rule, may be penalised by the Stewards and the horse may be disqualified.

Stewards allege that Mr Connolly made misrepresentations and provided misleading and/or inaccurate information regarding the ownership of the horses.

These charges relate to representations made by Mr Connolly and to declarations, information and/or representations provided to RV between August 2015 and April 2016 in relation to his purported ownership of Azkadellia, Hart, Loveable Rogue and Mr Simples.

Ciaron Maher

These four charges are laid in the alternative.

Charges 1 and 2: Improper and/or dishonourable action or practice

Mr Maher has been charged with breaching AR 175(a), which reads as follows:

AR 175 The Principal Racing Authority (or the Stewards exercising powers delegated to them) may penalise:

(a) Any person who, in their opinion, has been guilty of any dishonest, corrupt, fraudulent, improper or dishonourable action or practice in connection with racing.

In respect of the two charges under 175(a), the Stewards allege, amongst other things, that Mr Maher knew, suspected or ought to have known, at certain times, Mr Connolly was not the beneficial owner of the horses. Further the Stewards allege that Mr Maher, in those circumstances, took no steps, including to notify the Stewards of his knowledge or suspicions regarding the ownership of the horses.

Charges 3 and 4: Conduct prejudicial to the image, interests and/or welfare of racing
Mr Maher has been charged in the alternative with breaching AR 175A, which reads as follows:

AR 175A Any person bound by these Rules who either within a racecourse or elsewhere in the opinion of the Principal Racing Authority (or the Stewards exercising powers delegated to them) has been guilty of conduct prejudicial to the image, or interests, or welfare of racing may be penalised.

In respect of the charges under 175A, the Stewards allege that Mr Maher knew, suspected or ought to have known, at certain times, about Mr Connolly’s misrepresentations and provision of misleading and/or inaccurate information regarding his purported ownership of the horses. Further the Stewards allege that Mr Maher, in those circumstances, failed to take certain steps, including to notify the Stewards of his knowledge or suspicions regarding the ownership of the horses.

The Stewards allege that in all the circumstances, Mr Maher’s conduct was prejudicial to the image, interests and/or welfare of racing.

The charges against Mr Connolly and Mr Maher will be heard by the Victorian Racing Appeals & Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed.


Caulfield trainer Ciaron Maher, picture Sportpix.com.au
 
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