NOMINATIONS CLOSE FOR CAULFIELD CUP AND COX PLATE

THE countdown to Victoria’s famous 2015 Spring Racing Carnival has officially begun today with nominations closing for two of the Carnival’s marquee races – the $3 million BMW Caulfield Cup and $3 million William Hill Cox Plate.

A total of 209 horses have been entered for the Caulfield Cup – the world’s richest 2400-metre handicap – to be run at Caulfield on 17 October, whilst 173 horses are in contention for a start in Australia’s weight-for-age championship, the 2040-metre Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on 24 October.

RACING NSW stewards went behind closed doors when the name of Melbourne underworld boss Paul Sequenzia was brought into evidence in the Sam Kavanagh cobalt inquiry.

CHRIS ROOTS reports for FAIRFAX MEDIA that Adam Matthews, who spoke to the stewards by phone from Greece, had denied having any part in organising race-day treatments for Kavanagh, who is facing charges after Midsummer Sun returned a swab with cobalt and caffeine levels above the threshold after winning the Gosford Cup in January.

RACING Victoria says the five Victorian trainers with cobalt positives will learn on Monday whether they can compete ahead of the spring carnival, when a decision in their "show-cause" hearing is handed down.

 In a COMMENT PIECE for FAIRFAX MEDIA, PATRICK BARTLEY claims that listening to Damian Sheales, the lawyer appearing on behalf of Mark Kavanagh and Danny O'Brien, one almost expected the stewards to apologise for subjecting them to an inquiry.

A FORMER Victorian jockey who is alleged to have racially vilified Adam Goodes on social media could be thrown out of the industry after being charged by Racing Victoria with conduct prejudicial to the image of the sport.

CAROLINE WILSON & PATRICK BARTLEY report for THE AGE that Daniel Schmitt, who was a star apprentice with Melbourne Cup-winning trainer David Hall, was scheduled to appear on Friday at Flemington before the Racing and Disciplinary Appeals Board after posting the highly offensive tweet on July 13.

RACING Victoria stewards have closed the book on the controversial Baron Archer saga with no charges to be laid after a lengthy investigation.

MICHAEL MANLEY reports in the HERALD SUN that stewards released a statement on Monday night that their seven-week investigation into the running of a five-horse race at Echuca on March 8 and related betting activity had been completed.

THE veterinarian who admitted selling cobalt to two thoroughbred trainers was an "admitted liar" whose evidence was questionable, a Racing Victoria hearing has been told.

LARISSA NICHOLSON & PATRICK BARTLEY report for THE AGE that high-profile trainers Mark Kavanagh and Danny O'Brien appeared before a panel of stewards on Wednesday afternoon, forced to make a case for why they should not be stood down while they await trial on doping charges.

WEDNESDAY'S show-cause hearings at Racing Victoria's headquarters in Flemington will see five trainers and a gaggle of lawyers in the spotlight.

PATRICK BARTLEY repots in THE AGE that the Lee and Shannon Hope, Danny O'Brien, Mark Kavanagh and Peter Moody have been asked to show cause why they should be allowed to continue to train until their cobalt positive cases are heard.

THIS could be racing's Lance Armstrong moment. As the inquiry continues into the alleged use of cobalt in racing, we may be seeing a crisis unfolding in the sport the scale of which has not been seen for decades.

CHRIS ROOTS reports for FAIRFAX MEDIA that if the allegations prove correct, the cobalt crisis threatens to rival the jockey tape affair and the Fine Cotton ring-in scandal in terms of its impact on the sport. Both those cases resulted in people being banned for years, even decades. 

RACING NSW and Racing Victoria Stewards have issued the following joint report relating to their respective investigations into elevated cobalt levels returned by horses trained by Mr Sam Kavanagh (Racing NSW), Mr Mark Kavanagh (Racing Victoria) and Mr Danny O’Brien (Racing Victoria):

 

On Monday, 20 July 2015, Mr Tony Hargreaves, solicitor for Victorian veterinarian Dr Tom Brennan, contacted Racing NSW and Racing Victoria advising them that Dr Brennan wished to correct some evidence he had previously provided in cobalt inquiries being conducted by Racing NSW and Racing Victoria.

SKY Racing's blackout on Victorian thoroughbred racing has resulted in a surge in betting on the rival harness and greyhound racing codes as the absence of vision on the primary driver for Australian wagering drags into a sixth week.

ADAM PENGILLY reports for FAIRFAX MEDIA that with Racing Victoria and Tabcorp, which boasts Sky Racing as its broadcasting arm, still yet to broker a new agreement on the return of Victorian racing to Sky's wall-to-wall channel, industry insiders are lamenting the stream of punters migrating to harness and greyhound racing.

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