EMBATTLED Victorian trainer Kate Goodrich has lit another fuse to the firestorm which has engulfed her feud with Racing Victoria. Goodrich, having been charged by RV stewards under Australian Rule of Racing 8D for allegedly failing to permit a routine inspection of her stables on December 12, now has to front the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board at a date to be decided.
“I have just been charged by the stewards, but those who have been found to have bullied, threatened and maliciously threatened me, have not,” Goodrich said after the charge was announced on January 4.
Goodrich’s now long-running battle with Kilmore Racing Club and Racing Victoria came to a head prior to the race meeting at that track on December 12. She had intended to start Street Stalker, but stewards scratched the horse after Rhys Melville and Simon Quintner (two members of Racing Victoria’s Compliance Assurance team) unsuccessfully attempted to conduct a “routine inspection of her stables and to look at Street Stalker” that morning. “Part of taking out a trainer’s licence is that you need to comply with the rules and one of them is stewards accessing your stable,” said RV chief steward Terry Bailey. Goodrich however said she wanted a third party (police) to be present for the inspection to proceed. Stewards opened an inquiry into the matter and immediately refused to accept any further nominations from Goodrich for any race in Victoria until the matter was resolved.
RacingNSW stewards subsequently lent their support to their Victorian counterparts by refusing to allow Goodrich to start Street Stalker over the border at the Corowa meeting on December 30. They also prevented another two of her horses, Rubber Stamp and New York Rockette, from contesting 1000m Open barrier trials after the last race at that meeting. RNSW stewards’ boss Marc Van Gestel said: “We work together with RVL from time to time doing stable visits and audits. “Without having access to a trainer’s property pre-race, it exposes integrity concerns. “Until the matter with Racing Victoria is resolved, we cannot allow her horses to start in NSW.”
Australian Rule of Racing 8D states: “Any licensed person who, whilst the stewards are exercising the powers vested in them by Rule 8B or carrying out their duties, refuses to obey any reasonable direction of stewards or obstructs, hinders or delays stewards in exercising such powers or carrying out their duties, or incites any other person or persons to obstruct, hinder or delay stewards from exercising such powers or carrying out their duties, or does not act to prevent any other person or persons on the premises from so doing, may be penalised”.
Goodrich says she sought police to be present at her stables on December 12 as “she did not trust the stewards to act ethically”. “I have the evidence to back that statement up,” she said.
“When Terry Bailey (RV chief steward) felt threatened in his workplace, the police were called.
“When I suggested it to the stewards (about attending my stables during the December 12 visit), they scoffed at it. Why double standards? “I also offered to float the horse (Street Stalker) to the races where they could check him and blood test him. They refused.”
The December 12 incident escalated a lengthy feud which initially began with Kilmore Racing Club and then encompassed Racing Victoria, the state’s controlling body. Racing Victoria last March vowed to resolve the dispute between the Kilmore club and the trainer after an independent investigation sustained her claims of bullying. The investigation also found that Goodrich was subjected to bullying behaviour by the club and that her suspension by the club was flawed and unjustified. Goodrich subsequently moved her training base to Seymour. Goodrich says Racing Victoria has “never once been asked why Kilmore Racing Club hasn’t been charged with bullying and threatening behaviour”. Her twitter page describes her as a “racehorse trainer thrown headfirst into a fight against discrimination and bullying in the Victorian racing industry, including its integrity”. Street Stalker, a nine-year-old by Street Cry, was Goodrich’s last winner 12 months ago on January 9, 2016 at her previous home track (Kilmore). Her first winner was Stinkin’ Rich, also at Kilmore, on June 16, 2007.