High profile mare Azkadellia’s racetrack performances are in danger of being nullified and this could include her win in the Group 1 $1m Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick during the 2016 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Racing Victoria stewards are investigating the bona fides of the ownership of the Ciaron Maher trained Azkadellia and if they find she has been racing in the wrong ownership, it is within the rules that she could be stripped of her race track achievements.
Racing Victoria stewards have the power to strip Azkadellia of her winnings if the false ownership is proven and they expect the other state authorities to follow suit.
“We’ve got to weigh up our own situation as well and I can only speak from a Victorian point of view but if horses go around in incorrect ownership especially on the circumstances of this particular case, we’ll be taking a pretty strong view that she could be disqualified,” Racing Victoria’s chief steward Terry Bailey told Racing Ahead on RSN 927.
“It’s discretionary. It’s a matter for the stewards in those states.”
Stewards are investigating if Maher’s former stable manager Ben Connolly, whose name is listed as the owner of Azkadellia, is the real owner of the mare after there was some connection to notorious conman Peter Foster being looked into.
Bailey is hoping the inquiry will be near completion by Christmas but said it has been a long intense investigation.
“It’s a very complex matter. We’ve had to interview a number of people. Some have been more cooperative than others,” Bailey said.
“There’s a lot at stake. We’ve written to and notified the chief stewards in Queensland and NSW about the situation and if it is deemed that the horse raced in those black-type races in the wrong ownership, there is a strong argument under the rules as to whether the mare should be disqualified from those races and it means the return of prizemoney and so forth.”
As well as winning the Queen Of The Turf Stakes, Azkadellia was also placed five times in Group 1 company – third in the Myer Classic (1600m) during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival, second in the Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill and third in the Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick before winning the Queen Of The Turf Stakes during the 2016 Sydney Autumn Carnival and two seconds during the 2016 Brisbane Winter Carnival in the Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at Doomben and in the Tattersall’s Club Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm.
Azkadellia’s overall racetrack track record reads six wins, seven seconds and two thirds from seventeen starts with earnings of $1,588,708.