QUEENSLAND trainer Nathan Schofield’s attempt to stomach tube Beseech on Melbourne Cup day was described by the Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board as “actions of a cheat”.
RAD Board Judge Russell Lewis was scathing of Schofield as he dismissed the trainer’s appeal against the severity of a 12-month disqualification.
Judge Lewis said the Board viewed as “ergregious” the attempt to or in fact stomach tubing a horse on race day.
He described it as “another stain on the image of racing” at a time when the racing industry needed to have integrity as its corner stone.
Judge Lewis said Schofield was attempting to “gain an unfair advantage” and were the "actions of a cheat”.
He added that the “time has come for miscreants” to understand “they will be dealt with severely”.
Schofield was found guilty under Rule 175 (k) of attempting to stomach tube Beseech on the day of its scheduled race on Melbourne Cup day as well Rule 175 (t) of obstructing a steward in exercising his duties.
He was disqualified for 12 months under each Rule with the penalties to be served concurrently.
Members of the Compliance Assurance Team – Kane Ashby and Dion Villella - found equipment capable of stomach tubing Beseech in the box of the horse when they made a random visit to the Geelong stables where Schofield stabled the horse.
Beseech was subsequently scratched from its race by the order of stewards.
Dr Pannam, QC, appearing for RV, said Schofield, by way of admission, knew the rules and he had a careful and deliberate plan, which included locking the gates to the stables.
He described as “nonsensical and fanciful” the explanation of Schofield that Beseech had not drunk much overnight and the morning of the race yet he withdrew a 15 litre bucket of water from the box one and a half hours before stewards arrived.
He added that Schofield’s explanation of how to remedy the situation by giving the horse 400 mill of warm water was “simply ridiculous”.
Dr Pannam said Schofield went from worrying about the horse, thinking about scratching it to then admitting keenness to running the horse. He noted that at no stage did Schofield attempt to contact a veterinarian.
“It taxes credulity,” Dr Pannam said.
Dr Pannam said there appeared a trend among some trainers these to treat horses on race day to ensure they were just under the allowed level.
He also said Schofield’s refusal to allow Kane Ashby, who heads the Compliance Assurance Team, to search his car led to the inevitable conclusion that there must be something in it that would not help him.
Tony Bull, appearing for Schofield, asked the RAD Board for parity in the penalty given those trainers who had been charged under similar circumstances.
Bull said it was “manifestly excessive” for Schofield to be outed for 12 months when other trainers had received half or less a penalty.
He added that Schofield pleaded guilty to both charges as he now fully understood the ramifications of what had transpired.