Trainer Mark Riley has had his appeal upheld against a charge of giving bicarb to his horse Diablo Rosso back in August.
Judge Lewis from the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board dismissed the arguments of Racing Victoria in a case he said was ‘perplexing’.
The charge stemmed from a race at Bendigo back on August fourth where Diablo Rosso finished second last.
Tests afterwards showed a bicarb reading of 39 millimoles a litre, well over the accepted range.
Riley has always strongly denied the allegations and said the reading was likely to have been influenced by the horse having eaten mouldy corn the night before the race.
The RADB agreed that the food given to the gelding had been contaminated.
The judge said the case was perplexing given the facts presented to him were open to a range of variables and many conclusions were based only on assumptions.
There was also conflicting evidence given in regards to expert opinion and methodology.
“The evidence is bedevilled with uncertainty. The board should be reluctant to draw conclusions based on such evidence, whether they be in favour of one party or another,” he said.
Lewis took into account the experience of Riley in saying there was “an inherent improbability that Riley … would add what could only be described as an extraordinary amount of bicarb to a race-day drench.”
Riley pleaded guilty to the second charge of bringing Diablo Rosso to the races with a banned substance in his system with that matter to be dealt with at a later date.