Stewards come down hard on Con Karakatsanis

Con Karakatsanis
Con Karakatsanis has been given 12 months for administering medication to Howmuchdoyouloveme last year

DISGRACED trainer Con Karakatsanis has been given a hefty 12-month disqualification for administering medication to a horse on raceday.

The New South Wales-based horseman has had a troubled career to date and stewards came to the conclusion on Thursday that he was responsible for administering medication to Howmuchdoyouloveme on September 17, 2016.

Stewards were forced to scratch the eight-year-old from The Shorts after vets found a lump on its neck during its preliminaries.

Karakatsanis pleaded not guilty to the following charges, of which stewards found him guilty of charge one.

1. AR178E(1) – administering or causing to be administered medication to Howmuchdoyouloveme on race day 17 September 2016.

2. AR178AB(1)(b) – Injecting or causing to be injected Howmuchdoyouloveme during one clear day prior to race day 17 September 2016.

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Stewards failed to find any evidence to support the second charge, but was given 12 months for the first charge – with respect to his previous rules breach.

Karakatsanis was allowed to race Howmuchdoyoulove me at Flemington in the Yellowglen Stakes despite stewards finding tubing equipment in the horse’s box.

It was only later that both Con and father Tony Karakatsanis were disqualified for breaching raceday treatment rules.

Karakatsanis has appealed the decision and the appeals panel is currently considering an application for a stay of proceedings.

What do we think?

This isn’t the first time Con Karakatsanis has been in breach of a serious raceday rule, so we can’t give him any benefit of the doubt.

He knowingly administered medication to his stable star Howmuchdoyouloveme before being scratched in The Shorts, which could have put the horse’s safety at serious risk.

The 12-month suspension is justifiable given his history and it should be long enough for the Warwick Farm-based trainer to start rethinking his dubious actions.

We do have issue with the consistency of stewards’ rulings. James McDonald received an 18-month ban for betting on his horse, which doesn’t put any other runner or jockey at risk.

Karakatsanis put the safety of both horse and jockey at risk by trying to line up an unfit runner, but gets only 12 months.

Stewards across Australia need to agree upon a firm sentence for such cases. You can’t have trainers and jockeys committing the same crime and getting different sentences – that simply doesn’t make sense.

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