Mike Symons rejects Henderson comments

Melbourne Racing Club chairman Mike Symons is considering legal action over comments made by prominent owner and syndicator Terry Henderson in light of the Aquanita case.

Henderson told broadcaster racing.com that as a director of management company Aquanita Racing, now rebranded Neerim Lodge, which is at the centre of the bi-carb case, Symons should stand down until the hearing by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board.

Symons said he had no knowledge of race day treatments by those Aquanita trainers charged and said he had sought legal advice over Henderson’s comments.

He said he had kept the MRC committee abreast of interviews with Racing Victoria stewards following the inquiry opening resulting from the alleged race day treatment of Lovani at Flemington on October 7 last year.

Symons said it was his intention to retire from the MRC committee during the current racing season, adding he wanted to go out on his own terms.

“I don’t want these two issues connected because they are in no way connected,” Symons told RSN927.

“I had absolutely no knowledge of what was going on with these alleged race day treatments and I think that became abundantly clear throughout the (stewards’) inquiry.”

Symons said Henderson must have assumed the Aquanita board knew the goings on of those charged as it had taken place over such an extended period.

He said many of the alleged treatments had taken place on racecourses within hours of a race.

“Those comments are just wrong, they are unfair and they are inconsistent with the outcome of the stewards’ inquiries,” Symons said.

“I take enormous issue with that suggestion that I was aware or that any of the directors were aware of these alleged race day treatments because that is factually incorrect.”