Racing NSW Stewards today received oral submissions from barrister Mr M GrantTaylor QC on behalf of licensed trainer Mr L Birchley to supplement written submissions from Mr Travis Shultz, solicitor for trainer Mr Liam Birchley, in response to a show cause notice issued to Mr Birchley on 26 February 2018.
Mr Grant-Taylor’s principal submission was that due to the weakness in the case against his client and in the absence of any further evidence, his client’s prospects of defeating the charge issued under AR175(a) by Racing Victoria Stewards were “stratospheric”.
Therefore, by Racing NSW Stewards continuing to invoke the provisions of AR50 against his client, will unfairly continue to damage his reputation and financially affect Mr Birchley’s business.
Racing NSW Stewards have carefully considered the additional oral submissions made on behalf of Mr Birchley by Mr Grant-Taylor, in conjunction with the written submissions received on Tuesday, 27 February 2018 and the brief of evidence provided by RVL in respect to the Lovani investigation.
It is not the role of Racing NSW Stewards to determine the merits of the charge issued against Mr Birchley under AR175(a). However, they are satisfied that the charge issued against Mr Birchley, as accepted by Mr Grant-Taylor, is a serious charge.
Further, Racing NSW Stewards are of the view that any hardship suffered by Mr Birchley by the invoking the provisions of AR50, is outweighed by the prejudice to, and undermining of, the image, interests and integrity of racing in NSW if he was permitted to nominate (and race) horses in NSW while the serious charge against him is yet to be determined.
In those circumstances, the “balance of convenience” is against Mr Birchley and, accordingly, Racing NSW Stewards rule that, acting under the provisions of AR50, nominations of horses trained by Mr Birchley will be declined to be received and/or rejected until the charges issued by RVL have been resolved.