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The show cause hearing of trainer Robert Smerdon will not go ahead following consideration of written submissions to Racing Victoria stewards.

Have Your Say 🗣: Should stewards have forced Smerdon to attend the hearing? – Comment below

Smerdon was given a show cause notice to attend a hearing on Friday after publicly stating he would not attend the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board’s hearing into charges against him stemming from the race day scratching of Lovani at Flemington last October.

Stewards considered written submissions tabled on behalf of Smerdon in response to the notice and will not exercise their powers to impose conditions under a rule of racing on Smerdon before the RAD Board hearing begins on April 30.

Stewards received confirmation that Smerdon still does not intend to personally front the RAD Board but will have legal representation for the hearing of his charges.

He has undertaken, with immediate effect, to formally resign as a director of Aquanita/Neerim Lodge and to forfeit all shares in Aquanita/Neerim Lodge so as not to derive any financial benefit from racing and also that he won’t attend any Victorian thoroughbred race meetings prior to the RAD Board hearing.

Smerdon was was one of eight people charged under an Australian racing rule dealing with dishonest, corrupt or fraudulent, improper or dishonourable action.

Stewards said that on 115 occasions between 2010 and 2017, he was a party to the administration of alkalinising agents and/or medications to a horse or horses on a race day.

Two of those also charged, stablehand Greg Nelligan and his wife Denise, have indicated they will not be attending the RAD Board hearing.

They are warned off all Victorian racecourses and training premises and also banned from receiving any direct or indirect benefit from thoroughbred racing and/or breeding in Victoria as a result of a show cause hearing last month.

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