Racing commentator Brent Zerafa will fight a three-month disqualification over his part in the Palazzo Pubblico scandal, an involvement which has already cost him his job.
Racing NSW stewards found Zerafa guilty on Monday of conduct prejudicial to the image of racing for a text message exchange with John Camilleri before and after a race at Randwick on January 17 regarding the eventual winner, the Sam Kavanagh-trained Palazzo Pubblico.
Zerafa was giving mounting yard tips for the now defunct TVN and did not mention Palazzo Pubblico.
Camilleri, who has been disqualified for 4-1/2 years for his part in the race-day drenching of Kavanagh-trained horses, sent Zerafa messages earlier in the day saying:
“Wonder whos been help Kav for the past 5 weeks”
“Ive been helping him”
“Watch Palazzo in Race 3”
Zerafa’s tips did not include Palazzo Pubblico who he backed shortly before the race at $6, not the bigger price on offer earlier.
After the race there was a further exchange between the pair.
In assessing the three-month penalty, stewards said they did not make a finding that Zerafa deliberately threw off on Palazzo Pubblico.
But they said his conduct “would give rise to suspicion in the minds of a reasonable racing observer as to the integrity of the information that was being provided and accordingly would impact upon public confidence in the industry”.
After the demise of TVN, Zerafa was employed by Sky Racing which told him last week he was no longer on their roster.