Victorian trainer Robert Smerdon has been charged in relation to his involvement in the Damien Oliver betting scandal.
Racing Victoria stewards have charged Smerdon with Australian Rule of Racing AR 175 : “Any person bound by these rules who either within a racecourse or elsewhere in the opinion of the committee of any club or the stewards has been guilty of conduct prejudicial to the image, or interests, or welfare of racing may be penalised.”
Champion jockey Damien Oliver is banned from race riding until 13th September, 2013 with his involvement in the Miss Octopussy betting scandal. Oliver was riding Europa Point in a Mooney Valley race in October 2010 but placed bets on race favourite and eventually winner Miss Octopussy.
Form analyst Mark Hunter had placed the bets on behalf of Oliver with Gold Coast bookie Laurie Bricknell. After the race, Hunter asked Smerdon to pass something on to Oliver, which he did. It has been alleged that what he gave Oliver contained two cheques amounting to $11,000, and that’s the profit from a $10,000 wager by the jockey.
Smerdon will answer the charge at a hearing to be convened before the Racing Appeal and Disciplinary Board on a date to be fixed.
By Owens Wong