The Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board handed Victorian trainers Danny O’Brien and Mark Kavanagh lengthy disqualifications for administering cobalt to their horses in 2014.
O’Brien was found guilty of administering cobalt Bullpit, De Little Engine, Caravan Rolls On and Bondeiger during a period at the end of 2014 and has been handed a four year bad by the RAD Board, while Kavanagh received a three year ban for administering cobalt to Magicool when he won the Listed UCI Stakes at Flemington on October 4 in 2014.
“In relation to each of the horses trained by him, Danny O’Brien is disqualified for a period of three years, an aggregate of 12 years,” Judge Russell Lewis said.
“Four months of the penalties imposed in relation to Bondeiger, De Little Engine and Bullpit are to be served cumulatively upon the penalty imposed in relation to Caravan Rolls On [three years] and upon each other.
“A total of four years disqualification.
“In relation to the horse Magicool Mark Kavanagh is disqualified for a period of three years.”
O’Brien confirmed that both he and Kavanagh will immediately appeal the decision of the RAD board and he did not mince his words when he spoke to the media after the disqualification was handed down.
“We are really pleased to get this part of the process behind us,” O’Brien said.
“It has been a long 12 months and some of this process has been less than satisfactory.
“We are on our way now into VCAT to get a stay of proceedings pending an appeal date.
“You would all be aware that we raised some real issues as to how this scenario has played out over the last 12 months before Christmas there and we still haven’t had any answers from RVL.
“The Chief Integrity Officer has gone missing for seven weeks when he supposedly returns on the 1st of February and I guess that is probably going to be the first time where we will get some idea on where they stand on all this.
“At the end of the day they are really only holding back the tide for when we get to VCAT and everything is examined properly in a real, adult court.”
Controversial vet Dr Tom Brennan has been a key player in the cobalt saga and hr received a total disqualification of five years.
O’Brien and Kavanagh both have runners included in the entries at Geelong this afternoon, but they will be forced to scratch these horses unless they receive an immediate stay of proceedings from VCAT.