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VIC Cobalt Show-Cause Hearings

Thursday, 30th July 2015

On an extraordinary day in Victorian racing, the five trainers at the centre of the cobalt saga appeared before a panel of stewards yesterday to put forward their respective cases as to why they should not be suspended for the upcoming spring racing carnival. Peter Moody, Danny O'Brien, Mark Kavanagh and father-son team Lee and Shannon Hope were each asked whether they would accept having any prize money won during the spring carnival frozen until their cases were finalised, with only the Hopes agreeing to the offer. Kavanagh and O'Brien, whose cases are so similar that they have requested to have them heard together, said that any move to freeze prize money would impact significantly on their livelihoods and effectively end their careers. Likewise, Moody's legal counsel Matthew Stirling rejected the offer arguing that a prize money freeze went against the presumption of innocence and that such a move would have a detrimental impact on Moody's stable, one of the largest in the country. Moody's stable has gross annual revenues of $15 million, employs 70 staff, and has 1,100 clients on the books with 360 horses in various stages of training. Moody also stated that his wages bill was $50,000 per week. Stirling said that Moody's wages bill each week was $50,000 meaning that if Moody was stood down he would be liable for $200,000 in termination payments. On a day of oscillating drama, the vet at the centre of the scandal, Dr Tom Brennan, came in for some strong criticism with Kavanagh and O'Brien's legal representative Damien Sheales calling him an "an admitted liar" whose testimony could not be trusted. RV stewards are expected to advise the trainers of the outcome of yesterday's hearings shortly. Click here for Racing.com's detailed analysis of the day's events.

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