Stand By Your Man? Yes or No?... By Richard Callander

Danny O'Brien blasted Terry Bailey after the VCAT hearing.

Danny O'Brien blasted Terry Bailey after the VCAT hearing.

It’s been ten days and no action from Racing Victoria regarding the volcano style spray from trainer Danny O’Brien on the steps of VCAT directed at its chief steward Terry Bailey. Many within racing are in disbelief a governing body has allowed their chief steward to be torn a ‘new one’ by a licensed person.

O’Brien had been outed for four years following positive tests for cobalt in four of his horses and his Flemington colleague Mark Kavanagh three years with one positive result. After a long drawn out process covering more than two years both trainers were cleared at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal last week when Justice Garde said the testing procedure between April 2014 and August 25, 2015 by Racing Victoria’s lab, Racing Analytical Services Ltd, had been a “substantial departure’’ from proper protocols set out in Australian Racing Rule 178D.

The legal consequence of this action meant the test results are inadmissible in evidence against the trainers.  Justice Garde also found the tribunal was not satisfied to a requisite standard that either trainer knowingly cheated. Full stop.

Yes, it was a huge relief and a wonderful day for O’Brien and Kavanagh to be cleared at VCAT but what about the spray of chief steward Terry Bailey following the judgment. Here’s a good question.

How do think a trainer licensed by RacingNSW would go giving chief steward Mark Van Gestel a spray in similar vein to O’Brien?

"At the moment we have the head of integrity – Terry Bailey – who is a man who tells lies," O'Brien said. "He lied to his CEO and his chairman about putting a spy in Peter Moody’s stable. "He lied to the racing public in December, 2014 when he informed them the previous spring carnival had been the cleanest ever when he was well aware of these test results "He has come along here on oath and told mistruths to his honour Justice Garde. "When has it became acceptable in racing in Victoria for stewards to behave like that, I do not know” O’Brien added.

Peter V’landys, RacingNSW CEO is a front foot administrator and no matter the circumstances of the long running cobalt case there would be no way in the world in my opinion a licensed person would be still operating after declaring its chief steward a liar. If it’s allowed to go unchallenged then what power or credibility does Terry Bailey have?

Interim chief executive of Racing Victoria Giles Thompson stated the governing body was disappointed and surprised by the findings at VCAT but also defended the work of the integrity department headed by Terry Bailey for their efforts in the prosecution of both trainers considering the levels of cobalt in the trainer’s horses. That’s fine and expected but did Giles Thompson or the board or Racing Victoria or the Racing Minister Martin Pakula hear or see the explosive tirade by O’Brien on the steps of VCAT? If they did why has no action been taken?

There may be compensation sought by both trainers against Racing Victoria over its prosecution of the cases but that may not be as clear cut as some believe considering the levels of cobalt in the horses and rules of racing being broken albeit according to Justice Garde not intentionally by O’Brien and Kavanagh. Will Terry Bailey or Racing Victoria go after licensed trainer Danny O’Brien for his blasting of the chief steward?

If no action is taken surely the days of Terry Bailey are limited. Many will dance and sing if they see the back of Terry Bailey but not as many as you may think as many licensed in the state of Victoria although not publicly voicing their opinions support the hardnosed approach of its chief steward.

One thing for sure racing lives up to its name of a ‘colourful’ industry.