Racing Victoria considers Aquanita action

Racing Victoria will shortly decide whether to appeal the fresh penalties handed down to the Aquanita trainers as well as whether to disqualify horses involved in the bicarb scandal.

Racing Victoria chairman Brian Kruger said the governing body had until January 29 to appeal the recent Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) penalties before it considers the potential of disqualifying horses that were illegally treated with bicarb.

"With Aquanita, the decision was handed down on New Year’s Eve from VCAT," Kruger told RSN 927.

"We and other parties have until the 29th of January to make a decision to whether or not appeal those penalties handed down from VCAT.

"Once that appeal period has finished, Racing Victoria will turn its mind to whether or not to make an application to have horses disqualified as a result of it.

"We haven’t reached a landing on it yet.

"Clearly, we’ve made in our accounts some provision for some costs associated with that but at this point of time, we’ve made no final decision around horses being disqualified.

"It is certainly something that will be on our agenda as soon as we’ve finished the legal matters."

As part of the VCAT ruling, Smerdon’s disqualification for life and fine of $90,000 was confirmed after being found guilty of more than 100 charges under AR 175 (a) which deals with fraudulent or improper practice.

Trainer Tony Vasil’s three-year term was reduced to 18-months’ disqualification while Stuart Webb’s four-year ban was also reduced to 18-months but, with time served, is again eligible to apply for a trainer’s licence.