Top Melbourne trainer Robert Smerdon has been fined $10,000 after being found guilty of negligence in allowing a horse to be treated on the day it was due to race.
The stewards rejected Smerdon’s assertion that the horse, Shewan, had been treated with a permitted substance on the day prior to a raid on his stable on Caulfield Cup day.
The rules of racing prohibit any treatment being administered without permission on race days.
Veterinary evidence at Wednesday’s inquiry was that Shewan had been treated within 30 minutes prior to it being inspected by stewards.
Racing Victoria vet Dr Brian Stewart told the inquiry the blood on Shewan’s neck was “quite clearly fresh”.
“I can’t imagine a situation in a healthy horse where there is that amount of seepage,” Dr Stewart said.
“In my experience, it does not happen.”
In handing down the penalty, chief steward Terry Bailey told Smerdon the stewards were “somewhat perplexed at your lack of assistance to the inquiry”.
Smerdon indicated he would consider an appeal.