By Daryl Timms
RACING Victoria chairman David Moodie has been investigated over claims he told former trainer Peter Moody that horses trained by Danny O’Brien and Mark Kavanagh had returned positive tests to cobalt.
It’s alleged Moodie, then a Racing Victoria board member, told Moody of the positive tests before the trainers were informed by stewards.
Moody, who this year received a six-month suspension on a cobalt charge, was told by stewards on January 13 last year that his stayer Lidari had returned elevated levels of cobalt in his urine.
Stewards informed fellow trainers O’Brien and Kavanagh of their positive tests the following morning.
After being told by Moodie, it’s claimed Moody phoned O’Brien to tell him of his cobalt positives.
It’s claimed Moody tried to contact Kavanagh, but the Flemington trainer was being interviewed by stewards at the time.
It’s believed stewards discovered Moodie’s phone call to Moody, and the subsequent calls to the Flemington trainers by Moody, when they examined mobile phones as part of their probe into the positive urine samples.
The Racing Victoria Integrity Council (RVIC), which was formed two years ago and is headed by former Victorian Government solicitor Ron Beazley, did not recommend action against Moodie.
The RV board considered the Moodie matter and did not censure him.
Moodie, a prominent owner and breeder who had placed many horses with Moody, is believed to have informed the integrity council of the phone call.
Claims of Moodie’s involvement in telling Moody were made at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal appeal hearing by O’Brien and Kavanagh over their lengthy disqualifications.
Racing Victoria on Friday night declined to comment on the allegations, but released a brief statement on Moodie’s behalf.
“A number of matters have been raised in the appeals process before VCAT. We have said previously that we do not intend to provide a running commentary on matters while they are before VCAT and given that these appeals remain before the tribunal we won’t be doing so now.”
Moodie became RV chairman on May 15, 2015, following Robert Roulston’s resignation.
Kavanagh and O’Brien’s appeal will resume on Monday before VCAT president, Justice Greg Garde.
Chief steward Terry Bailey and Racing Victoria’s head vet Dr Brian Stewart, who announced this week he was quitting to return to the Hong Kong Jockey Club, will provide evidence next week and will be cross examined by the trainers’ barrister Damian Sheales.
Sheales is challenging the science of cobalt and the non-accreditation of the two laboratories that tested the urine samples that led to the trainers’ suspensions — ChemCentre in Perth and the Hong Kong Jockey Club.