Sam Kavanagh is hoping stewards show compassion when deciding on his penalty in the cobalt case as he and his family are living by “moving from place to place”.

Kavanagh was found guilty of 23 charges stemming from Midsummer Sun’s cobalt and caffeine tests after he won the Gosford Cup in January. The trainer is facing a long disqualification.

Kavanagh’s counsel Paul D’Angelo said his client deserved a second chance and that he had helped the inquiry during its process. He said the 28-year-old had a previously unblemished record and that the affair was brought on by financial pressure, as Kavanagh had debts of more than $130,000 to the tax office and Flemington Equine Centre.

“This is all he has known in his life,” D’Angelo said. “Any penalty should allow him to return sooner rather than later.”

D’Angelo said 12 of the charges Kavanagh has been found guilty of have mandatory sentences under the rules of racing and that if they were to be served cumulatively, he would be disqualified for 14 years and six months. “A penalty of that length would not be fair on him,” D’Angelo said.

D’Angelo asked the panel to take special circumstances into account, and that some of the penalties be served concurrently.

D’Angelo said Kavanagh’s reputation had been left in tatters. He tabled four personal references for his client: from a priest in Julian Carson, Adelaide Centracare director Dale Smith, Yarraman Park’s Harry Mitchell and Gerry Harvey, who owned Palazzo Pubblico – one of the horses allegedly drenched on raceday.


“Sam has been honest and up-front in all transactions I have had with him,” Harvey wrote in his reference. “I would happily send him more horses to train when his disqualification comes to an end.”

Stewards again adjourned the inquiry after hearing from Kavanagh’s counsel and indicated they would announce penalty for all people charged in the case after taking submission from lawyers from vet Tom Brennan and practice manager Aaron Corby next Friday.

Written submissions have been made on behalf of John Camilleri, Mitchell Butterfield and Michael O’Loughlin responsing to their guilty findings.

Meanwhile, Kevin Moses has appealed the severity of his 12-month disqualification for presenting Felix Bay to race at Hawkesbury in April with a level of cobalt above the threshold.

The appeals panel will hear the case on September 24.