$600 in Bonus Bets
Get your first bet matched with up to $600 in bonuses*
$500 Bonus Bet
Sign-up, deposit $500 & receive $500 in bonus bets. That's $1000 to bet with!*
$500 Matched Deposit
Sign-up and get your first deposit matched with up to $500 in bonus bets*
$500 in Bonus Bets
Sign-up and get your first bet matched with up to $500 in bonus bets*
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly

Suspended trainer Ciaron Maher’s former racing manager has been disqualified for more than two years over his part in an elaborate conspiracy to hide convicted con man Peter Foster’s ownership of five racehorses.

The Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board also disqualified Group One-winner Azkadellia and the other four horses from their Victorian races, stripping them of the prize money they earned when raced in Ben Connolly’s name.

The RAD Board on Monday disqualified Connolly until December 31, 2019.

Azkadellia, Little Bubulu, Loveable Rogue, Hart and Mr Simples won $241,000 prize money in Victorian races but the mare Azkadellia won more than $1.5 million in total in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

The RAD Board heard Foster was the mastermind of an elaborate and sophisticated plan to have the horses race in the name of Connolly, who was then Maher’s racing manager.

Racing Victoria stewards’ barrister Dr Clifford Pannam QC said Connolly played a central role in a conspiracy to fraudulently convince the stewards to lift a ban on the five horses.

“It was a deliberately hatched plan masterminded by Foster, whose very connection with the horses in question led to the ban originally being put in place in January 2015,” Pannam said.

Pannam said the sophisticated arrangement succeeded for almost a year.

He said Azkadellia in particular was very successful, leading to a very substantial amount of money being diverted to Foster or his interests.

Connolly told stewards Maher had no knowledge of the arrangements but the former racing manager has now told the board in a statement: “I thought he knew.”

That extraordinarily statement should be taken with a grain of salt, Pannam said.

Pannam said it showed Connolly had persisted in not coming forward with the real facts, despite pleading guilty to two charges under racing rules.

The RAD Board heard Connolly was paid $2000 a week to be the trustee of the racehorses and was to receive 10 per cent of any prize money.

But Connolly’s barrister Peter Caillard said his client did not receive any of the prize money, which went to Foster.

Connolly described Foster as charismatic and persuasive, Caillard said.

He said Connolly admitted he misled the stewards about the elaborate scheme.

“He accepts that he lacked candour and was complicit in an elaborate attempt to hide Foster’s ongoing interests,” Caillard said.

Caillard said Connolly had lost his career, his reputation and his social network.

Maher was last month suspended for six months and fined $75,000 for conduct prejudicial to racing after conceding he should have known the horses were actually owned by Foster.

RV chief steward Terry Bailey says the five horses are still banned from racing but their ownership is now a legal matter.

He said the stewards would abide by any court order about the horses’ ownership, but said that would have to be sought by the owners.

Deposit $50, Bet with $250
Sign-up, deposit $50 & receive $200 in bonus bets. That's $250 to bet with!*
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly
  • DEPOSIT $500
    start betting
  • first bet
    up to
  • DEPOSIT $50
    start betting
  • first bet
    up to
*Conditions Apply. Excl VIC, NSW, SA & WA. Gamble Responsibly
Featured News

Over $5,000 in Bonus Free Bets

Just Horse Racing provides readers with the best Free Bet offers available at every online bookmaker in Australia during the...

Prompt Response wins Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara

Consistent mare Prompt Response finally got her Group One win on Saturday and could now have a change in training...

Single Gaze in work with Chris Waller

Premier Sydney trainer Chris Waller admits to being as surprised as anyone to learn Single Gaze would be joining his...

Harness horse ends up in a lake

A trots horse overnight in France has somehow ended up in a lake in the middle of the racecourse in...

Robert Smerdon appeals lifetime ban

Disqualified trainers Robert Smerdon and Stuart Webb have lodged appeals against their bans with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal....

Copyright © 2018 Just Horse Racing.
All rights reserved - Privacy Policy

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