Eight people charged in raceday treatment probe going back 7 years

Robert Smerdon
Robert Smerdon

Victorian racing authorities are considering whether prominent trainer Robert Smerdon and seven other people charged with misconduct in relation to breaches of race day treatment rules should be stood down.

The eight were charged on Tuesday after an investigation sparked by the scratching of the Smerdon-trained Lovani from a race at Caulfield on October 7 when stewards suspected she had been treated against the rules.

In Smerdon’s case, the alleged race day treatments date from 2010 to 2017 and number more than 100.

“Under the Rules of Racing, the stewards have the power to stand down participants prior to any hearing,” Racing Victoria said.

“With these serious charges now laid, the stewards are giving urgent consideration to the participants’ continued involvement in racing pending further legal advice.”

The people charged are:

* Robert Smerdon (trainer)

* Greg Nelligan (stable employee of Smerdon and former employee of Vasil)

** Denise Nelligan (stable employee of Smerdon and former employee of Vasil)

* Stuart Webb (trainer and employee of Smerdon)

* Daniel Garland (employee of Smerdon)

* Tony Vasil (trainer)

* Trent Pennuto (trainer and former employee of Vasil)

* Liam Birchley (trainer)