Trainers stand aside pending hearing of charges

NO TRAINING: Caulfield/Ballarat trainer Robert Smerdon has agreed to stand down from his role at Aquanita Racing pending a hearing.
NO TRAINING: Caulfield/Ballarat trainer Robert Smerdon has agreed to stand down from his role at Aquanita Racing pending a hearing.

Robert Smerdon and Stuart Webb have agreed to stand down from training duties pending a Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board hearing into serious charges against them relating to raceday treatments of horses.

Smerdon employees Denise Nelligan and Daniel Garland will also stand down.

Trainers Tony Vasil and Liam Birchley, along with Greg Nelligan, have been issued show cause notices as to why they should not stand down.

The eighth person charged, trainer Trent Pennuto, is already serving a disqualification.

Racing Victoria said the four who had stood down would be regarded as suspended persons.

“They will be permitted to attend race meetings, but will not participate in their normal activities as licensed or registered persons.”

Racing Victoria chief executive officer Giles Thompson said RV welcomed Aquanita Racing’s decision and its continued cooperation with this inquiry. “It’s vital that the integrity of Victorian thoroughbred racing is protected while we await the outcomes of these charges.”