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Cobalt Trainers To Have Feature Prize Money Frozen
The five Victorian trainers facing cobalt charges will have any prize money earned from Group or Listed races during the spring carnival frozen until their cases are resolved, reports Racing.com. Racing Victoria stewards yesterday handed down their findings as a result of the show cause hearings of Peter Moody, Danny O'Brien, Mark Kavanagh and father-son team Lee and Shannon Hope held last Wednesday. RV chairman of stewards Terry Bailey said the decision to freeze prize money, which all trainers argued would significantly impact their business, was necessary in order to maintain the image of the sport. "We're all about protecting the industry and the reputation of the sport, particularly heading into the (spring carnival)," Bailey said. "We're of the view they ought not be allowed to profit during that period." He added: "In our view it's the appropriate measure to take. We're talking about Group and Listed races only, the 'bread and butter' races so to speak… the trainers are able to continue to gain a living by being part of those races." While the trainers' lawyers have until 5pm Thursday to appeal to the RAD Board, RV stewards noted four key points in reaching their conclusion:
- Each trainer intends to defend the serious charges against them.
- Each trainer's business is large and dire consequences would likely follow for them, their business and their employees if their license was suspended pending the hearing.
- That a negative message would be sent to the racing public if each trainer was permitted to continue to profit from major races that attract national and international attention.
- That in order to address the negative impact on the image of racing by the continued participation of the trainers, it is appropriate protective action is taken by the stewards.