Aussie harness trainer caught administering a drench

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<p>MELBOURNE – Secret surveillance by Victorian stewards nabbed prominent trainer Bernie Kelly preparing to drench a horse on the way to the races.</p>

<p>The horse, Australia’s top two-year-old pacer Greg Kelly, was scheduled to contest the opening race at Charlton yesterday.</p>
<p>“The Herald Sun” has learned two Harness Racing Victoria stewards were waiting for the Wagga-based Kelly outside the stables at which he stayed in Bendigo on Sunday night.</p>
<p>As Kelly left the stables with Greg Kelly, stewards became suspicious when he drove just 500m and stopped on the side of the road.</p>
<p>Two investigative stewards, Andy Rogers and James Hitchcock, approached the float and found Kelly preparing to drench his star pacer.</p>
<p>Drenching is a method used by trainers to administer substances directly to a horse’s stomach.</p>
<p>Under the rules of racing, it is illegal for a trainer to drench a horse in the 48 hours before it races. Stewards ordered Greg Kelly’s scratching from the Charlton race.</p>
<p>Kelly, speaking on Radio Sport 927 just minutes after the incident, said: &quot;I’ve told the complete truth to the stewards. I have used no illegal substances on the horse. But there is some rule about not drenching horses 48 hours before they race.&quot;</p>
<p>Kelly admitted he was &quot;preparing&quot; a treatment for Greg Kelly in his horse float when confronted by stewards.</p>
<p>&quot;The drench had not been administered to the horse . . . I don’t know why they stopped him running. They have taken a lot of evidence, but they won’t find anything illegal.&quot;</p>
<p>Harness Racing Victoria chairman of stewards Ian Paterson said: &quot;It’s against the rules to have any equipment used for drenching horses in a float on race day,&quot; he said.</p>
<p>&quot;Mr Kelly was observed preparing a drench, mixing ingredients together, on the side of the road by two of our investigative team.</p>
<p>&quot;We are constantly trying things to police the sport and decided to put Mr Kelly under surveillance.&quot; – Herald Sun.</p>

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