Fri, May 17, 9:32am by Kevin Pitstock
According to a television interview with Ray Murrihy, head of the NSW Race Stewards committee, the final decision on the More Joyous affair should come in the next week. More Joyous owner John Singleton already was assessed a $15,000 for his role in the scandal, but trainer Gai Waterhouse still faces two charges stemming from events leading up to the All Aged Stakes held at Randwick on April 27.
Testimony in the case indicates famed race horses More Joyous experienced heat in its neck in the week leading up to the race. The trainer administered an anti-biotic and anti-inflammatory drug to treat the possible ailment, but did not inform race stewards of the treatments. Owner John Singleton seems to have learned about his horse’s troubles through friends. These friends spoke with the trainer’s son, Tom Waterhouse, but indications are the true leak was elsewhere.
Because of More Joyous’s last place finish in the race, NSW stewards would have investigated the situation anyway. Yet after the race, John Singleton spoke about his horse’s possible illness, so the story took on a public character.
Earlier this week, the stewards called in witnesses, including Tom Waterhouse, Andrew Johns, Allen Robinson, and Eddie Hayson. Tom Waterhouse was cleared of wrongdoing, while Eddie Hayson gave dramatic testimony of having learned about the treatments from two unnamed sources, including one tied to the Gai Waterhouse Stables. The hearings proved to be a media spectacle, but more revelations appear to be forthcoming next week.
In a televised interview with Leigh Sales of ABC News on the night of the hearings, Ray Murrihy explained why his office had exonerated Tom Waterhouse. “Some of the evidence we found not to be reliable, but given the vast volume of evidence we’ve taken, the amount of communication…we’re content with the finding that there was simply no evidence that joined Tom Waterhouse, the bookmaking son of Gai Waterhouse, of being in possession of privileged information or having passed it on to anyone.”
When asked a follow-up question about which evidence was unreliable, Mr Murrihy said, “Whenever you’ve got a link…of four people passing information on to one another, invariably, you’re going to get a situation where there’s some differences to what they heard, what was said, what was passed on. Clearly, that was the case in some cases today.”
Mr Murrihy praised the brevity of the current investigations, stating the NSW race stewards have dealt with this case in two weeks’ time. He also went on to say charges might take another seven days to resolve.
One of the dramatic moments of the day came when ex-jockey Allen Robinson offered to provide dramatic new evidence after he heard the testimony provided by Andrew Johns and Eddie Hayson.
At first, Robinson stipulated Johns and Hayson had to be present for the disclosures. After speaking with Johns and learning the stress he was under, Robinson later suggested he would give testimony if only Hayson was present. Ray Murrihy declined the request, suggesting the stewards would not have terms dictated to them.
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