Robert Smerdon issued show cause notice

Robert Smerdon
Former Caulfield-based trainer Robert Smerdon has been issued with a show cause notice.

Racing Victoria stewards have issued a show cause notice to former trainer Robert Smerdon.

The former Caulfield-based trainer has surrendered his licence and publicly stated his intentions not to participate in the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board hearing of charges laid against him which is due to start on April 30.

Smerdon voluntarily stood down from training following charges issued by stewards on January 9 as part of the Aquanita case.

Stewards will be seeking submissions from Smerdon as to why the scope of the conditions of his standing down ought not to include restrictions on his racing activities.

Smerdon was one of eight people charged under an Australian racing rule dealing with dishonest, corrupt or fraudulent, improper or dishonourable action.

Stewards said that on 115 occasions between 2010 and 2017, Smerdon was a party to the administration of alkalinising agents and/or medications to a horse or horses on a race day.

The investigation which led to the charges was sparked after the Smerdon-trained Lovani was withdrawn from a race at Flemington on October 7 last year when stewards suspected a race day treatment.

Two of those also charged, stablehand Greg Nelligan and his wife Denise, have indicated they will not be attending the upcoming RAD Board hearing.

They are warned off all Victorian racecourses and training premises and also banned from receiving any direct or indirect benefit from thoroughbred racing and/or breeding in Victoria as a result of a show cause hearing earlier this month.

Smerdon has been invited to a show cause hearing on Friday.