$501 in Bonus Bets
Get your first bet matched with up to $501 in bonuses*
Deposit $30, Bet with $180*
Sign-up, deposit $30 & receive $150 in Free Bonus Bets!*
$500 Matched Deposit
Sign-up and get your first deposit matched with up to $500 in bonus bets*
$600 in Bonus Bets
Sign-up, deposit $400 & receive $600 in Free Bonus Bets!*
Deposit $50, Bet with $200
Sign-up, deposit $50 & receive $150 in bonus bets. That's $200 to bet with!*
* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article exclude NSW residents.

Trainers Danny O’Brien and Mark Kavanagh are victims in their long-running cobalt saga and should not be punished should Racing Victoria win an appeal on points of law, a court has heard.

Three Court of Appeal judges are deciding whether to resurrect any cobalt offences against the two Flemington trainers after the charges were dismissed by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Should Racing Victoria succeed in its appeal on two points of law around the interpretation of the rules of racing, the case would be sent back to VCAT to determine any penalty.

VCAT president Justice Greg Garde concluded that while there was no doubt cobalt was administered to four O’Brien-trained horses and one from the Kavanagh stable in in late 2014, the trainers had no knowledge of it.

It was clear they were victims of veterinarian Dr Tom Brennan and had no knowledge, inkling or suspicion that the vet intended to use a substance called vitamin complex in drips for their horses, the judge said in March.

Court of Appeal Justice Anthony Cavanough said given Justice Garde found the trainers had no inkling or suspicion, “presumably any penalty would have to be fashioned accordingly” should the matter go back to the VCAT president.

O’Brien and Kavanagh’s barrister Damian Sheales said Justice Garde had found the trainers were victims.

“It’s difficult to see how they should be reprimanded in these circumstances,” he said on Friday.

Justice Garde overturned O’Brien and Kavanagh’s respective four- and three-year disqualifications for administering cobalt.

He ruled the test results that showed cobalt above the permitted threshold were inadmissible because Racing Victoria’s procedure for testing for cobalt from April 2014 to August 2015 substantially departed from the racing rules.

The judge said he would have found O’Brien and Kavanagh guilty of the lesser charge of presentation if the test results were admissible.

Racing Victoria is challenging the ruling on admissibility and wants the Court of Appeal to determine the appropriate level of responsibility a trainer must have for the management of their horses and service providers.

Racing Victoria argued there was ample evidence to prove the horses had elevated cobalt levels beyond the testing certificates.

Its barrister Paul Holdenson QC said the horses’ elevated cobalt readings were found to be accurate.

The Court of Appeal reserved its decision.

$501 in Bonus Bets
Sign-up and get your first bet matched with up to $501 in bonus bets*
  • DEPOSIT $30
    start betting
  • first deposit
    up to
  • DEPOSIT $50
    start betting
  • DEPOSIT $10
    start betting
* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article exclude NSW residents.
Featured News

Over $5,000 in Bonus Free Bets

Just Horse Racing provides readers with the best Free Bet offers available on every online bookmaker on the internet. We...

Surprise decision on Winx’s next start

Chris Waller has surprised many people after he announced where Champion mare Winx will have her next run. Winx will...

Winx and Hartnell set to clash again

Poor old Hartnell thought he may have seen the last of Winx, but now it is likely the horses will...

Cash Out costs punter $340,000

One Flemington punter will be kicking themselves after cashing out of a 5-leg multi that would have seen them take...

Peter Moody

Peter Moody sends rumour mill into overdrive

Former champion racehorse trainer Peter Moody sent the rumour mill into overdrive on Wednesday when he fired off two tweets...


Gamble Responsibly 18+
*State exclusions apply to some offers. Please check T&Cs of each offer with the bookmaker. All Offers Exclude NSW residents.