Trainer Peter Moody’s camp has lied in a failed attempt to present an innocent explanation for a racehorse’s elevated cobalt reading, a tribunal has heard.
Moody’s defence blamed oral hoof treatment Availa for Lidari returning a cobalt reading double the allowed threshold, but Racing Victoria stewards’ legal counsel Jeff Gleeson QC said it was nonsense and a lie.
“The inconsistencies and absurdities in Mr Moody’s Availa story, we say, are so many in number and so profound in significance that this is nonsense, the Availa story,” Mr Gleeson said on Thursday.
Mr Gleeson said the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board should conclude that the defence story was a lie and that Mr Moody was central to that lie.
“The only reasonable inference is that the lie is a failed attempt to concoct an innocent explanation for Lidari’s cobalt reading.”
Moody’s defence has blamed Lidari’s cobalt reading – of 380 to 410 micrograms per litre of urine – after his second in the 2014 Turnbull Stakes on a stablehand mistakenly giving the horse large doses of Availa for months.
Defence counsel Matthew Stirling said Racing Victoria’s own expert had changed his evidence from there being only a “fluke” chance of Availa causing the cobalt reading to it being just about beyond reasonable doubt that it led to the detected level.
“RVL must now destroy the credibility of the Moody witnesses because if they don’t their own expert says what they gave the horse would have caused the levels,” Mr Stirling said.
Mr Gleeson said Moody did little to investigate between being told about the reading in January 2015 and being charged in July.
“He didn’t need to investigate the high reading. He knew what happened.”
He said the Caulfield trainer would otherwise have been perplexed and turning the place upside down.
“Moody is no shrinking violet. He is a forthright, robust, colourful character.”
Moody faces a minimum three-year ban if found guilty of administering a prohibited substance.
Mr Stirling said Mr Gleeson had turned the entire matter into a case about Availa, but it was not.
“There is no evidence of anything Moody has done either leading up to, or at the time of, the offending,” Mr Stirling said.
“That’s critical because the very thing they have to prove is that Moody administered.”