Trainer Mark Riley will be free to saddle Of The Brave in the Group 1 $1m Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield after he was granted a stay of proceeding by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Racing Victoria Stewards had given Riley until 10am on Wednesday to remove Of The Brave from his stables after the Mornington trainer was disqualified for three years on Monday after his horse Gold For Kev was found to an above level quantity of bi-carb detected in its blood sample at Sandown on July 13.
Riley had earlier in the day on Tuesday applied to the Supreme Court to grant a stay of proceeding so he could still train his horses pending his appeal against the disqualification but the Court said that they did not have to power to rule on the case.
But a late night decision by the VCAT in Riley’s favour will see Of The Brave remain in his usual environment in the lead up to Victoria’s premier two year old race.
Riley was relieved with the interim decision by VCAT and also thanked his legal team and his loyal group of owners for supporting him.
“We would like to thank our legal team,” Riley told racing.com.
“We would also like to thank all the owners, in particular those of Of The Brave – this has been a very stressful time for all of you leading into Saturday’s big race and we can’t thank you enough for your solid support right down to the wire!”
“Good luck to all of you with runners over the coming days and thank you again for everyone’s continued support throughout a very stressful period.”
Of The Brave is one of the main chances for the Blue Diamond Stakes and came up with barrier nine in the fifteen horse field with Stephen Baster to ride.
Baster has been aboard the undefeated Of The Brave for his two wins, a debut victory in the Listed $120,000 Inglis Debutant Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield in October and then a first up win over Pride Of Dubai in the Group 3 $150,000 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14.
Of The Brave has raced right on the pace in his two runs to date and no doubt Baster will go forward from barrier nine.
Of The Brave is sharing the third line of betting with Sampeah at $10 for the Blue Diamond Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au behind the Robert Smerdon trained Fontiton at $2.45 and Sydney colt Pride Of Dubai at $5.50.
Fontiton heads to the Blue Diamond Stakes undefeated from three starts and looked impressive in her last start win over Miss Gidget and Flamboyant Lass in the Group 2 $200,000 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) for the fillies at Caulfield on February 14.
The Turffontein filly has drawn the inside barrier in the fifteen horse field with regular rider Mark Zahra to take the mount again.