O’Brien and Kavanagh to seek damages

Danny O’Brien has confirmed he and fellow trainer Mark Kavanagh will seek damages from the clinic that employed the vet involved in the long-running cobalt saga.

O’Brien and Kavanagh were on Tuesday fined $8000 and $4000 respectively for presenting horses to race with elevated cobalt levels in their systems after being cleared of administration by Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal president, Justice Greg Garde.

Legal proceedings have commenced against Flemington Equine Clinic after vet Tom Brennan admitted giving horses, one of Kavanagh’s and four from O’Brien, a substance called vitamin complex while denying knowledge it contained high levels of cobalt.

O’Brien said damages would be against the veterinary practice.

“We have already commenced proceedings against Flemington Equine who are ultimately responsible for these positives occurring,” O’Brien told RSN927.

O’Brien said more than $10 million was likely to be sought.

“We’re trying to quantify the losses now to make sure our statement of claim is thorough when it goes into the vets insurers,” O’Brien said.

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O’Brien and Kavanagh have also been asked to apply for costs from the VCAT hearing which ran 26 days.

O’Brien said they had already been awarded 30 per cent of costs for the Court Of Appeal hearing brought on by Racing Victoria after Justice Garde had dismissed a four-year disqualification for O’Brien and a three-year penalty for Kavanagh.

He said fighting those bans had cost in excess of $1 million.

The pair were heartened by recent comments from new RV chairman Brian Kruger that they are looking at integrity closely.

He said there was a lot to be learned from the past three years.

“I’ve got no beef with the intention of the integrity department,” O’Brien said.

“They certainly have a real will to make sure racing is as clean as it possibly can be in this state.

“I think some of there execution could be improved.”