VICTORIA’S Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board will resume its hearing tomorrow into charges against Con and Tony Karakatsanis.
RAD Board chairman Judge Russell Lewis adjourned the hearing on January 8 after an application from Terry Tobin, legal representative for the Karakatsanis’, to dismiss the collective five charges against his clients.
Judge Lewis said the Board was "mindful of procedural fairness" in not ruling on an application by Tobin for all five charges to be dismissed.
Tobin said Dr Cliff Pannam, QC, for Racing Victoria, had "radically altered" the case on the second day of the hearing by abandoning the case that the powder in the bag with the equipment capable of stomach tubing a horse, found in the box of Howmuchdoyouloveme, would be used pre-race and replacing it with the possibility bi-carb was to have been used.
He said Dr Pannam had attempted to "substitute another case" when it became apparent that the saline drench, if it had been administered pre-race, would have been detrimental to the horse's prospects.
Tobin also said Dr Pannam's position that Con Karakatsanis was trying to lock the stable gate would be "the destruction of the intention of the conspirator" as it locked out Tony Karakatsanis from the feed room where the bi-carb was located.
He said it was “unfair” on his clients to challenge such allegations given they were not presented in the steward’s evidence.
"Mr (sic Dr) Pannam has radically altered the case. He did so in his cross examination,” Tobin said.
"In his cross examination of Con Karakatsanis he said there was no intention of using those salts, it would be madness to drench pre-race.
"Dr Pannam abandoned giving a saline pre-race and replaced it with stomach tubing the horse with bi-carb that was available in the feed room.
"It's not hinted in the particulars. Another powder is introduced on the second day of the hearing.
"It's not particularised that Con Karakatsanis or Tony Karakatsanis that they placed bi-carb in the feed room as part of the conspiracy.”
Dr Pannam said the rule – 175 (k) - which both Karakatsanis have been charged - did not necessitate stewards to identify what substances was used.
He said there was no evidence until late in the hearing when it was revealed that “copious” quantities of bi-carb were available. He added that the Karakatsanis used bi-carb in their feed.
Dr Pannam used an analogy of someone being charged with theft from a jewellery shop of a diamond ring and it’s later discovered it is an opal.
“That would make no difference,” Dr Pannam said.
Judge Lewis said both sides would be allowed to introduce additional evidence if they saw fit when the hearing resumed.