THE first casualty of the Sam Kavanagh cobalt inquiry has been the truth as the trainer and vet Tom Brennan tried to protect themselves and distance themselves from the bottle of vitamin  complex.

CHRIS ROOTS reports for FAIRFAX MEDIA that Kavanagh and Brennan have eventually returned to stewards with corrected evidence but the final version of their stories is still separated by some margin.

It was a day when stewards heard of Brennan's remorse for not telling the truth from the start of the Sydney inquiry.

"My primary concern was for the Victorian trainers as I was their primary-care veterinarian," Brennan said. "And I have caused them more trouble."

Cobalt has become such an explosive part of Australian racing that an inquiry, which involves a concentration of cobalt above the threshold taken from Midsummer Sun after its Gosford Cup win in January, was always going to be difficult.

The vitamin complex bottle found in a stable inspection of Sam Kavanagh's stable on February 4 has provided the link between the Sydney and Melbourne cobalt case, a fact not lost on Kavanagh or Brennan.

Brennan had used only 5ml of the vitamin complex in drips he made up for horses, a recipe he shared with Sam Kavanagh, who admitted he had used it on Midsummer Sun, Spinning Diamond and Centre Pivot.

Brennan claimed he had taken the word of his junior partner Adam Matthews that the vitamin complex didn't contain cobalt and had tried to get it tested but the cost was too great.

The vet changed his evidence on July 20, accepting he had sent Sam Kavanagh two bottles of vitamin complex, but claims he didn't realise that it contained a high level of cobalt until after the first positive swab in Victoria.

He still denied Kavanagh's claims  the trainer kept  him informed that the vitamin complex bottle found by stewards in a stable inspection on February 4 was one he provided.

Brennan and practice manager Aaron Corby continued to deny they put pressure on Kavanagh about telling the truth to stewards.

Kavanagh was branded "a serial liar" by Aaron Corby's legal counsel Sam Duggan during a tough cross-examination, while Chris Winneke, the barrister for Tom Brennan, repeatedly stressed the inconsistencies in Kavanagh's evidence.

 

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