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A devastated Sam Kavanagh will appeal a lengthy disqualification he says will end his training career.

Kavanagh was outed for nine years and three months for 23 offences relating to cobalt and race day treatments after an inquiry sparked by a high level of cobalt found in Midsummer Sun after he won the Gosford Cup in January.

“I feel like I’ve been given a life sentence for a first offence,” Kavanagh said.

“Of course I will appeal. I’m gutted.”

Racing NSW stewards on Monday also outed five other people who were charged as the case expanded during the investigation.

After calculating penalties for Kavanagh at 18 years and three months, stewards grouped several together to reduce the sentence by nine years.

Flemington Equine Clinic partner, Dr Tom Brennan, received six years for supplying a substance called Vitamin Complex to Kavanagh which was later found to contain 175 times the amount of cobalt normally found in a vitamin mix.

Brennan originally denied he was the source but later admitted he was, saying he was unaware there was cobalt in the product.

Stewards said a person in Brennan’s position should have taken reasonable steps to establish what was in the Vitamin Complex.

They also charged him and clinic practice manager Aaron Corby with giving false evidence with Corby copping a three-month penalty.

Brennan, who also faces charges laid by Victorian stewards over high cobalt levels found in horses trained by Danny O’Brien and Sam’s father Mark Kavanagh, also signalled his intention to appeal, via Twitter.

“6 years…See you in court Ray” he said referring to chief steward Ray Murrihy.

Harness racing identities John Camilleri and Mitchell Butterfield received penalties of 4-1/2 years and 21 months respectively on charges of giving race-day drenches to horses in the Kavanagh stable.

Licensed stablehand Michael O’Loughlin, who refused to give evidence to stewards, was outed for 2-1/2 years for his part in the illegal race day administrations and failure to attend the inquiry.

Midsummer Sun subsequently died after suffering a catastrophic leg injury in a barrier trial in February.

A necropsy found no prohibited substances in his system.


Sam Kavanagh: Nine years and 3 months.

Dr Tom Brennan: Six years.

Aaron Corby: Three months.

Mitchell Butterfield: One year and nine months.

John Camilleri: Four years and six months.

Michael O’Loughlin: Two years and six months.

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