Friday racing: Media identity dragged into cobalt scandal

Updated: August 20, 2015


Racing media figure Brent Zerafa has been charged by Racing NSW stewards for conduct prejudicial to the image of racing. The charge stems from his conduct relating to a Sam Kavanagh-trained horse. Racing NSW stewards said that as an employee of the now defunct TVN, Zerafa tipped two horses from the mounting yard on January 17 in the race subsequently won by Palazzo Pubblico. The Kavanagh-trained Palazzo Pubblico (pictured above with thanks to Racing & Sports) was not one of the two horses tipped on air by Zerafa.

Stewards uncovered pre and post-race text messages exchanged between Zerafa and John Camilleri. One of the texts from Camilleri was a tip for Palazzo Pubblico. After the race, there was an exchange in which Zerafa made reference to himself not tipping that horse in his selections on camera. Zerafa’s betting records, which have been obtained by stewards showed he had backed Palazzo Pubblico to win the race. Camilleri has been embroiled heavily in the cobalt case against Sam Kavanagh and charged with drenching horses from that stable.

• Meanwhile the vet at the centre of cobalt inquiries in two states says he was merely a go-between in arranging a meeting between Mark Kavanagh and his son Sam attended by senior NSW racing official Matt Rudolph. Tom Brennan, who has a long-standing friendship with Rudolph, has denied being a party to trying to force trainer Sam Kavanagh to change his evidence that Brennan was the source of a bottle found at his stable that was found to contain high levels of cobalt.

Kavanagh, his Melbourne-based father Mark and Rudolph had a heated meeting at a Sydney hotel with Sam Kavanagh saying he felt ambushed as the pair tried to get him to retract what he told stewards. Rudolph, the Australian Turf Club executive general manager – racing, has been asked to show cause why he should not be penalised for his conduct. Brennan told a Racing NSW sub-committee on Thursday, the meeting was at the behest of Mark Kavanagh, who is facing cobalt charges of his own in Victoria.


Today’s racing (August 21): Mildura (Vic), Taree (NSW), Warwick (Qld), Wagga (NSW). Harness racing: Leeton (NSW), Albion Park (Qld), Tabcorp Park Melton (Vic), Bathurst (NSW), Port Pirie (SA), Gloucester Park (WA). Greyhound racing: Strathalbyn (SA), Casino (NSW), Bendigo (Vic), Bulli (NSW), Ipswich (Qld), Wagga (NSW), Cranbourne (Vic), Geelong (Vic), Unibet Gardens (NSW), Mandurah (WA).


Confirmed bets (card finalised)

Mildura R5 #11 Tiger Ruby (E/W)

Taree R4 #6 Alaskan Wolf (win)

Wagga R1 #11 Talico (win)

Wagga R2 #2 Mutual Trust (win)

Warwick R5 #3 Triple Jeopardy (win)


Yesterday’s results (WIN-PLACE-UNPLACED): 2-0-4, -2.3 units; overall results (WIN-PLACE-UNPLACED): 38-1-48, +4.1 units

Hawkesbury R3 #12 Zillow (win) LOSE (U/P)

Hawkesbury R4 #6 Daisy Duke (win) LOSE (2nd)

Hawkesbury R5 #11 Quantrill (win) LOSE (2nd)

Hawkesbury R8 #4 I’ll Take The Jag (win) LOSE (U/P)

Pakenham R3 #10 Stay With Me (win) 1st ($1.60)

Rockhampton R4 #2 Barcelona Bound (win) 1st ($2.10)

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to William Hill (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

One Comment

  1. syd

    August 21, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    This has gone on for years. Ron Dufficy is well know for throwing dummies and tipping anything except the horse he has backed.

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