NSW stewards to study Vic evidence

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February 25, 2018 - 06:36 PM

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Stewards will study the evidence in the bi-carb case which has rocked Victorian racing before deciding whether any parties have a case to answer in NSW.

Racing NSW chief steward Marc Van Gestel said they had received the brief of evidence from Racing Victoria and would study it over the next few days.

"We will review the evidence and establish if we will open an investigation to any races in NSW," Van Gestel said.

"We signed a confidentially agreement with Racing Victoria to not release any of the evidence.

"As is our usual practice, we will not be making any evidence public until such time as there is an inquiry if we get to that stage."

Over the past few days, News Corp has published a series of text messages reported to be between some of the eight parties, including multiple Group One-winning trainer Robert Smerdon, charged over race day treatments involving alkalising agents, commonly known as bi-carb.

Among the reported texts is one referring to the Smerdon-trained Mosheen before she won the 2012 Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill.

After an investigation sparked by the withdrawal of the Smerdon-trained Lovani from a race at Flemington in October because of a suspected race day treatment, he and seven others were charged in January with offences dating back seven years.

Smerdon and fellow Caulfield trainers Stuart Webb and Tony Vasil and Queensland trainer Liam Birchley who have all been charged, have all also operated at some time under the Aquanita Racing banner.

Disqualified trainer Trent Pennuto along with Greg Nelligan and Denise Nelligan, employees of Smerdon and former employees of Vasil, as well as another Smerdon employee, Daniel Garland, also face charges.

Aquanita Racing, which has been rebranded, operated as a management company with the trainers responsible for the running of their individual stables.