Kavanagh and O’Brien Appealing Cobalt Disqualifications

In the attempt to erase their penalties for dosing horses with cobalt far above the permissible levels, Victorian trainers Mark Kavanagh and Danny O’Brien seem to hope that pleas of ignorance and the use of twisted semantics represent their best hopes.

Recently, veterinarian Dr. Ian Church, giving evidence in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, claimed he was innocent of lying to Racing NSW stewards when he said that there was nothing exceptional about the $1,000 bottle of vitamins discovered in the home of Kavanagh’s son Sam.

The supplements in question were sent to the trainers by Dr. Tom Brennan, a partner of Church in Flemington Equine, sent the three bottles with a $3,000 price tag attached.

An attorney for Racing Victoria, Jeff Gleeson, said that Brennan admitted to the sale and that Church told another vet in the operation, Dr. Amy Kelly to forget about the transaction, maintaining that he is in the clear because he never specifically instructed to lie about the matter.

Given that the typical bottle of equine vitamins typically costs anywhere from $20 – $50, the price of $1,000 should have raised red flags, but Church assumed that there must have been expensive products of some sort in the bottle.

A quick internet search turned up a supplement containing allowable levels of cobalt for $21.95 per gallon.

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