Take Control of Your Super Special Offer Ends Soon. Apply Now!
Winner ... Damien Oliver won the Victoria Derby on Fiveandahalfstar. Photo: Pat Scala
THE most influential owners in racing are set to approach Racing Victoria this week and ask why they were forced to become the sport's moral compass over the alleged jockey betting inquiry in the past month.
Champion jockey Damien Oliver has been the centre of headlines on the front and back pages throughout the spring carnival. Firstly, for his alleged $10,000 bet on a rival in a race he rode in in 2010, and secondly, for his riding of a trio of group 1 winners.
Oliver received his accolades for winning the Victoria Derby on Fiveandahalfstar and Emirates Stakes on Happy Trails in the committee room at Flemington on Saturday.
But as a representative of one of the owners told Fairfax, "they ignored the elephant in the room as well as the big pile of shit in the corner".
The group is particularly annoyed about the lack of action following the Melbourne Cup day story by Fairfax about an alleged confession from Oliver. Group members believe if that was true Oliver definitely should not have ridden on the final two days of the Flemington carnival.
The group has waited until the carnival has ended to seek classification why Racing Victoria didn't stand down all jockeys involved.
It will demand answers from the racing regulator, which has so far been unable to provide in public. The owners are angry at being made to look the bad guys when there were clear integrity issues surrounding Oliver and others.
Fairfax's story on October 14 has been a constant cloud over the spring carnival. It revealed the allegations about Oliver's $10,000 bet on Miss Octopussy, which started favourite in a race he rode the second pick in betting, Europa Point, in 2010.
As a flagrant breach of the rules of racing, the group of owners believes swift action should have been taken by Racing Victoria.
Oliver was taken off My Quest For Peace in the Caulfield Cup and Green Moon in the Cox Plate immediately following the revelations.
Instead of Racing Victoria taking action in the best interests of the sport, it was left up to individuals whether to book Oliver. By the final day of the carnival he had rides in all nine races after being one of the stars on the track during the preceding month.
While Oliver has been the main focus of the media spotlight, it is rumoured that several jockeys will join him under investigation once the carnival has been completed.
Jockey Mark Zahra has been linked to the infamous Smoking Aces race but was allowed to complete his carnival commitments.
❏ The inquiry into the discovery of equipment used for stomach-tubing racehorses found at the stables of Con Karakatsanis has taken another twist after Racing Victoria stewards on Saturday began ''imaging'' the mobile phones of the trainer, his father, and a second trainer.
During Saturday's Flemington meeting, it is understood stewards asked for the three phones, which will be scanned on Monday, as the probe into the events of last Saturday week continue. Trainer Con Karakatsanis, his father Tony and local trainer Pat Cannon, who was employed by the Sydney racing family to assist them on the day, all conceded to the stewards' request.
Licensed people must submit mobile phones on request. Investigators then employ an independent firm that is given terms of reference by stewards at what it is searching for. The search will also examine text messages in relation to the case.
The inquiry stems from a raid by stewards on the Flemington stable housing Karakatsanis's star sprinter Howmuchdoyouloveme before he ran last Saturday week. Stewards observed Karakatsanis, his father, Cannon and another man talking in the stable.
Stewards said that as Karakatsanis left the premises he allegedly told the others to ''call me if there's any trouble'' and was attempting to lock the stable yard when they intervened. An inspection of the box housing Howmuchdoyouloveme revealed the ''naso-gastric'' tubing equipment.