Stewards widen net in racing corruption inquiry

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RACING NSW stewards are seeking to interview four persons of interest in connection with the controversial late scratching of Prussian Secret from the Gunnedah Cup last Sunday.

Prussian Secret was withdrawn after two men were allegedly caught “drenching” the horse before the feature country race.

Stewards have not released the names of those they want to interview but Prussian Secret’s trainer Cody Morgan and another unidentified man were arrested by NSW police and charged with conduct corrupting the betting outcome of a race and using corrupt information to bet. Both men were granted bail and are due to appear in Tamworth Local Court on May 27.

Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy followed his usual practice and would not reveal the names of those he wants to interview in relation to the Prussian Secret matter until all drug-testing results have been returned.

“We will await the outcome of the swabs,” Murrihy said when asked to confirm police reports that one of the two men arrested is Morgan.

“What I can tell you is that we have notified four persons that they will be required to attend a stewards inquiry on a date to be fixed.”

Murrihy said the four persons of interest to stewards are two licensed trainers, a stablehand and a registered owner.

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys weighed into the controversy yesterday to stress that the alleged incident involving Morgan and Prussian Secret was isolated.

“This is not a widespread practice in NSW racing,” V’landys said.

“In this case, the trainer was caught and we hope it acts as a deterrent to others.

“We make no apology that we are catching people and going very hard on them.

“We want a level playing field for everyone in racing and protecting punter confidence in the sport is paramount.”

But with the sport in the headlines for the wrong reasons again, NSW Trainers Association chief executive Steve McMahon felt compelled to issue a media statement yesterday.

“The NSW Trainers Association does not and will never condone race fixing or illegal doping and cheating,” he said. “The overwhelming majority of horse trainers in NSW are clean, hard-working individuals who provide jobs and entertainment across the country.

“It’s simply not fair that the actions of a few, rare bad eggs tarnish the reputation of hard-working trainers who race by the rules. We offer our full support to Racing NSW in their fight to protect the industry from those who seek to deliberately cheat.”

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