UPDATE: Perth Cup winning trainer Shane Edwards has come under fire at his appeal against a three-year disqualification involving the export of gallopers to Singapore.
Ron Davies, QC, told a Racing Penalties Tribunal panel yesterday that Edwards had seriously breached clients’ trust and discouraged owners from racing.
“Owners had faith in the trainer when he recommended their horses should compete in Singapore,” said Davies, representing Racing and Wagering WA stewards.
“But the owners later had difficulty getting information on gallopers exported by Shane Edwards, were owed stake earnings and could not bring horses back to Perth.
“An owner wanted to breed in WA from a mare after her Singapore race career, which was arranged by Edwards. However, it appeared the mare had been sold-on to another country and could not be traced.”
Four hours of evidence was heard at yesterday's opening session of the appeal, which has been adjourned to a date to be fixed. Stewards last month found Edwards guilty of four charges.
He received a three-year ban for conduct prejudicial to the interests of racing, in his dealings with clients and others.
Stewards said he failed to act honestly and openly in relation to financial and other aspects of those dealings.
Edwards copped another three-year disqualification for, in the opinion of stewards, giving misleading evidence at an inquiry on November 20.
He denied any knowledge, consent or issue of authority for transfers of Born Genius, Regal Rascal and Star Boronia.
Edwards was also given a six-month ban for denying knowledge of a shareholder in galloper Splitsville, when interviewed by RWWA principal investigator Phil O’Reilly.
Stewards said it was a misleading statement.
The three disqualifications are being served concurrently.
Edwards was fined $1500 for entering Splitsville for two races in November 2007, when he has no intention of starting.
He was found guilty of improper practice for boosting entries in a bid to stop the races from being scrapped.
“Trainers regularly nominate horses only to prop up fields,” said Edwards’ legal counsel Tom Percy, QC.
“It’s not desirable but has been an accepted practice for many years.
“Shane Edwards has been harshly penalised, in comparison with other racing cases.
“Champion jockey Damien Oliver received only a 10-month disqualification after admitting he bet $10,000 on a rival’s horse when he was riding in a Melbourne race.
“He damaged a lot of punters’ confidence at the time.”
Percy said Edwards had genuinely forgotten about the transfers of Born Genius, Regal Rascal and Star Boronia.
“They were racing several years ago and he didn’t remember their transfers when quizzed by stewards,” Percy said.