Danny O’Brien says the fight against his four-year ban has only just begun

Suspended: Trainer Danny O’BrienTrainer Danny O’Brien believes the fight against his four-year cobalt disqualification from the Victorian Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board has only just started, claiming he was looking forward to “examining [the case] properly in a real adult court”.


O’Brien and Mark Kavanagh appealed immediately to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal after they were yesterday handed four and three-year bans, respectively,  for cobalt offences. The  trainers said their lawyers would be looking at every level of the process.

“You’ll all be aware that we’ve raised some real issues with how this scenario has played out over the last 12 months before Christmas there,” O’Brien said.

“We still haven’t had any answers from RVL. The chief integrity officer [Terry Bailey] has gone missing for I believe it will be seven weeks when he supposedly comes back on the first of February.

“I guess that’s probably the first time where we’ll get some idea of where they stand on all this but at the end of the day, they’re really only holding back the tide for when we get to VCAT and everything is examined properly in a real adult court.”

O’Brien and Kavanagh’s vet, Tom Brennan, was disqualified for six years, backdated to August 1 last year,  for his part in the cobalt positive swabs taken from  Caravan Rolls On, Bondeiger, De Little Engine and Bullpit from the O’Brien yard and the Kavanagh-trained Magicool in the spring of 2014.

The Championships place in Australian racing continues to be strong with the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and TJ Smith the equal top ranked race in Australia in the world’s top 100 group 1 released on Wednesday.

Australia had the most races in the top 100 with 23, but it doesn’t include the Melbourne Cup as it is a handicap and over 3200 metres. However the Queen Elizabeth and TJ Smith, which is the best sprint in the world, only ranked at number 25.

“It confirms The Championships place as the grand finals of racing in Australia,” Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said. “It was good to see so many races from our autumn carnival in the list.”

The world’s best race according to the list is the Prix de l’Arc Triomphe, ahead of the Breeders Cup Classic and Juddmonte International run at York.

Warwick Farm trainer Louis Baudon chalked up his first Sydney win when Evason came with a late charge to win over 2400m first-up for nine months at his home track on Wednesday.

It was a remarkable training performance by the Frenchman with an imported son of Galileo, which was having his first start since running in France in April last year.

“Him and me are adapting to Australia together. He needs longer, the longer the better with him,” Baudon said.