Aquanita trainers lodge VCAT appeals

Disqualified trainers Robert Smerdon and Stuart Webb have lodged appeals against their bans with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Both trainers were outed last month after being found guilty of charges of race day treatment in which eight licensed people connected to Aquanita Racing, currently or previously, were rubbed out.

Smerdon was disqualified for life and fined $90,000 while Webb was banned for four years by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board with both lodging appeals against their guilty verdicts and penalties.

Fellow trainers Tony Vasil, banned for three years, and Liam Birchley, one year, have lodged appeals with VCAT while last week Racing Victoria lodged an appeal against the leniency of Birchley’s disqualification.

William Hill

RV was informed on Friday Smerdon and Webb had lodged the appeals with VCAT on June 7, within the 28 days allowed after their penalties were handed down on May 10.

“The integrity of Victorian racing is critical to its ongoing success and the confidence of customers and participants to invest in the sport,” an RV statement said.

“RV will again vigorously prosecute the charges laid against each of the four disqualified persons when their appeals are heard on a date to be fixed.

“Until such time, RV is not in a position to comment any further on the appeals.”

Aquanita stablehands Greg and Denise Nelligan were disqualified for life with trainer Trent Pennuto, two years, and stablehand Daniel Garland, one year, also banned.