TONY Karakatsanis told a Racing Victoria inquiry today he had no intention to stomach tube Howmuchdoyouloveme at Flemington where he was stabled last Saturday.
Karakatsanis said a bag containing equipment capable of stomach tubing a horse had been mistakenly been put in the horse's box.
He told stewards he thought the bag contained hay.
“There was no intention to tube him and I didn’t tube him,” Karakatsanis told stewards.
“If I didn’t pick up the wrong bag we wouldn’t be here. I picked up the wrong bag and no one believes me.”
Stewards adjourned the inquiry to a date to be fixed.
Members of RVL’s Compliance Assurance team found a bag containing equipment capable of stomach tubing a horse in the box where Howmuchdoyouloveme was stabled at Flemington last Saturday.
Stewards heard evidence from Karakatsanis’ son Con, who trains the horse, as well as licensed trainer Pat Cannon, who strapped the horse, and via phone hook up Chris Wood, a friend of the family, who was in the stabling area when stewards made a random visit.
Kane Ashby, a member of the Compliance Assurance team, told the inquiry he saw Con Karakatsanis trying to lock the gates of the stables then signal with his hand to those inside the stable when stewards arrived.
He also said he heard Con Karakatsanis earlier say “ring me if there is any trouble”.
Con Karakatsanis denied he was locking the gate or that he was trying to forewarn his father, Cannon or Wood that someone else was about to enter the stables.
Tony Karakatsanis asked RVL chairman Terry Bailey if it was “illegal” to possess drenching gear. He added he had been most disturbed by the media coverage of the events.
“It’s very easy to throw things around to make me look like a piece of dirt,” Tony Karakatsanis said.
“You are trying me before I’m even guilty.
“We’re in this position because we picked up the wrong bag.”
Bailey replied: “One bag didn’t exist.”
Ashby told the inquiry that Tony Karakatsanis tried to take away from him the bag that contained the stomach tubing equipment.
He said when Tony Karakatsanis showed him the other bag it didn’t have anything in it. “Tony Karakatsanis started putting hay in it,” Ashby said.
Howmuchdoyouloveme passed a veterinary inspection ordered by RVL chief steward Terry Bailey late today.
Con Karakatsanis said the horse tore a muscle in his back last Saturday when he ran poorly in the Yellowglen Stakes.