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Former trainer Hayden Haitana has applied to have his lifetime ban from racetracks over the infamous Fine Cotton ring-in scandal lifted.

The board of Racing Queensland will consider Haitana’s case on Friday after the 68-year-old, who has served 29 years so far, wrote to officials last month.

“The board will meet on Friday to discuss the application,” RQ’s chief executive Darren Condon said.

The Haitana-trained country galloper Fine Cotton was replaced by open class sprinter Bold Personality in a race at Eagle Farm on August 18, 1984 and backed from 33-1 to 7-2 in a nationwide plunge.

The substitution was noticed before any money was paid out.

The ring-in was doomed when the original horse to be used, Dashing Solitaire who looked similar to Fine Cotton, was injured and Bold Personality was brought in.

Attempts to disguise him with hair dye and white enamel paint back-fired when the paint failed to stick.

Haitana was one of six people banned for life by the Queensland Racing Board, the ruling body at the time, while the Australian Jockey Club in Sydney warned off bookmakers Bill and Robbie Waterhouse and seven others for having prior knowledge of the ring-in.

The Waterhouses were reinstated in 1998 but Haitana’s application in 2003 to have his ban lifted was denied.

Haitana served six months of a 12-month prison sentence for his part in the substitution while Robbie Waterhouse was given eight months periodic detention for lying to the Racing Appeals Tribunal.

In the fall-out from the Fine Cotton affair, Gai Waterhouse was denied a trainer’s licence because she was married to Robbie.

After taking her case to the highest court, she was given a licence in 1992.

Haitana’s ban means he is unable to set foot on any racetrack or premises licensed for training.

Fine Cotton died in 2009 at the age of 31 after spending most of his life on the Brisbane property of film producer John Stainton who bought him a year after the scandal.

 
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