Racing Victoria stewards continue to work through the ownership bona fides of Group One winning mare Azkadellia who could be stripped of race wins and prize money.
RV chief steward Terry Bailey says he hopes to have the investigation wound up before Christmas.
“We’ve had to interview a number of people,” Bailey told RSN927.
“Some have been more co-operative than others.
“At this point in time the one thing that we seem to be reasonably clear on is the horse was racing in the wrong ownership.
“It’s quite a complex issue but we’re hopeful we’ll get to the end of it before Christmas.”
The Ciaron Maher-trained mare has been barred from racing as stewards investigate who actually owns the five-year-old.
Maher’s former racing manager Ben Connolly is listed as owning the six-time winner who boasts prize money of more than $1.5 million.
Bailey said there was a strong argument the mare should be disqualified from races and prize money returned if it was found the owners details were incorrect.
“I can only speak from a Victorian point of view but if horses go around in incorrect ownership, and on the circumstances of this particular case, we take a pretty strong view the horse should be disqualified,” Bailey said.
Azkadellia’s biggest victory came in the Group One Queen Of The Turf Stakes at Randwick last autumn.
She hasn’t raced since running second in the Tatt’s Tiara at Eagle Farm in June.
Bailey said stewards in NSW and Queensland, where Azkadellia has raced in black type races, had been notified of the investigation.
He said to allow a transfer, or sale, of Azkadellia stewards need to be satisfied who owned her previously and where those sale proceeds might go.