The West AustralianJuly 8, 2014, 7:02 am
Perth Cup-winning trainer Shane Edwards was yesterday disqualified for 6½ years when stewards found him guilty on four charges into his handling of thoroughbreds he exported to Singapore between 2008 and 2013.
The year-long inquiry, which saw eight separate sittings, was concluded last week when Edwards’ counsel Tom Percy gave stewards a 13-page penalty submission for them to consider before delivering a penalty.
Stewards found Edwards guilty of engaging in conduct prejudicial to the image of racing, giving a misleading statement to investigator Phil O’Reilly, denying knowledge of transfers being signed for three horses and nominating Splitsville for two meetings with no intention of starting.
Edwards, 39, was disqualified for three years each on charges one and three, and six months for his dealings with O’Reilly on charge two.
Stewards fined Edwards $1500 for nominating Splitsville for race meetings on November 17 and 24, 2007, with his action being to ensure sufficient numbers for the race to proceed.
“The industry cannot afford to be cast publicly into the light as one that is lacking in proper regulation and order in matters of ownership of racehorses or that it is unable to properly self-regulate these areas,” RWWA’s general manager of racing integrity Denis Borovica said.
“The owners of racehorses are the lifeblood of the industry as it is through their investment in stock that the industry has the animals by which to race.
“The industry must actively and manifestly maintain their confidence at all times.
“It would be catastrophic to the industry to lose the trust and faith of owners as there would be significant potential for them to remove or reduce their level of investment in racehorses.
“It is easy to imagine how the industry was perceived to allow or not respond appropriately to conduct such as yours (Mr Edwards), how that would potentially discourage new entrants to the industry.”
Borovica said they would ask the Malayan Racing Association to reciprocate the bans.
Edwards, who prepared Guest Wing to win the 2011 Perth Cup, had worked as stable foreman to his father David, who was the private trainer to former Perth Racing chairman and Multiplex boss, the late John Roberts.
He was groomed to be a trainer from a teenager and had worked in Europe prior to getting his own licence.