Tony Karakatsanis continues to deny the charges laid against himself and his son Con in relation to the finding of drenching equipment in the stable of their smart sprinter Howmuchdoyouloveme on the morning of the gelding’s engagement at Flemington on November 3.
Tony and Con Karakatsanis have been charged with the intention to treat Howmuchdoyouloveme with a drench on race morning after Stewards found drenching equipment in a bag in the stable of the sprinter when they made a surprise visit.
The rules of racing state that no horse is allowed to be treated before its races on the day that it is racing.
But Tony Karakatsanis maintains that he merely picked up the wrong bag and thought he had placed a chaff bag with a biscuit of hay in it in Howmuchdoyouloveme’s stable ready for when he returned from the races.
“If I was aware, I would not take it to the horse’s box,” Tony Karakatsanis.
“I thought I had hay in it.”
The Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board have accused the Karakatsanis of planning to tube Howmuchdoyouloveme with bi-carb to enhance his performance but the pair denied performing the prodecure on the morning of the race.
Instead the tubing equipment found in the bag was in the stable area in preparation to giving the gelding a saline drench after his race.
“You would be absolutely crazy to give a saline drench three hours before a race,” Con Karakatsanis told the inquiry.
“It would be madness.”
James Tobin, counsel for Karakatsanis suggested that steward Kane Ashby had arrived at the stables with a suspicious mind after he and fellow steward Dion Villela had been tipped off that Howmuchdoyouloveme was going to be tubed within the prohibited period prior to his race.
“That view shaped your whole outlook,” Tobin told Ashby.
“You have drawn inferences at every step that were adverse.
“You brought a suspicious mind to the stable.”
Tony Karakatsanis continued with evidence that he had picked up the wrong feed bag and that it was just a mistake.
“As I tried to explain to Mr Villella we normally place a biscuit of hay in a chaff bag,” Karakatsanis said.
“He said where is the bag and I said ‘obviously we didn’t fill the bag, but this is what we do.”
It was acknowledged that Howmuchdoyouloveme didn’t receive any race morning treatment and finished eighth to Fontelina in the Group 2 $300,000 Yellowglen Stakes (1200m) as the $3.10 favourite.
The start before the four year old had blitzed the field in the Group 2 $220,000 Perri Cutten Caulfield Sprint (1100m) at Caulfield on October 20 also as favourite but at a subsequent start was also easily beaten when fifth to Mental in the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 10.
Con and Tony Karakatsanis have maintained their innocence and pleaded not guilty as the inquiry continues.