Smerdon to appeal $10,000 fine

Leading trainer Robert Smerdon will appeal the $10,000 fine for his part in the Damien Oliver betting scandal.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal knocked back his appeal against his conviction for conduct prejudicial to the image of racing but the trainer still has the avenue to fight the fine, which he says he will do. ”We’ll make a submission on penalty,” Smerdon said.

The Caulfield trainer was fined for delivering $11,000 in cash given to him by Mark Hunter to pass on to Oliver as winnings from an illegal bet made by the jockey.

The money was the settlement of a bet Hunter placed on behalf of Oliver on Miss Octopussy, the winner of a race at Moonee Valley in which Oliver rode another horse.

Oliver is serving a 10-month ban and is expected to be back riding in September.

And just when it seemed Smerdon had a stable-full of jumpers that were the envy of so many trainers in Victoria, the Caulfield horseman appears poised to produce another potential topliner.

Dour staying three-year-old Cooldini will start in a heat of Saturday’s Banjo Paterson staying series, but a jumping career is still very much on the cards.

The $100,000 Banjo Paterson final in two weeks will be Cooldini’s ultimate winter goal but a start over jumps this campaign is also a chance.

Smerdon’s impact on jumps racing has been emphatic, although last Sunday his outstanding hurdler Black And Bent was defeated when attempting his 11th-straight hurdle victory in three years.

But the trainer is still confident Cooldini can also become another topline jumper as well as being a smart stayer.

”It would be up to the owners but, if the opportunity presented itself, I wouldn’t mind him having a run over them [jumps] this year because it could be another string to his bow for the future,” Smerdon said.

”He’s in good order and had a good fortnight since his last run so hopefully he can continue his good form.”

Cooldini, a winner of his past two starts on the flat, trialled over the jumps before he won by 12 lengths on the flat in a midweek 2400-metre race at Sandown last month.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.