Press Release:

Melbourne’s Herald Sun has released a string of text messages allegedly sent by disgraced Aquanita Racing trainers Liam Birchley and Robert Smerdon with former Aquanita staff member Greg Nelligan. In the texts, Birchley and Smerdon were allegedly communicating with Nelligan about the doping of horses under their care, a case which currently carries 271 combined charges for those involved, also including trainers Tony Vasil, Stuart Webb, Trent Pennuto, stable employee Danny Garland and office worker Denise Nelligan.

Texts between Smerdon and Nelligan reference treating horses including multiple Group 1 winner Mosheen (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), while Nelligan also converses with Birchley about doping Melbourne Cup runners. The scandal was uncovered last spring when Nelligan was caught attempting to treat Lovani (Aus) (Lonhro {Aus}), trained by Smerdon, on G1 Turnbull S. day at Flemington.

The next step in the case is a second directions hearing to take place on Mar. 1.