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Tip-off led to Karakatsanis stable raid
Mike Hedge
06:11 AEST Wed Mar 20 2013

Stewards received a tip-off from a racing source that the Sydney sprinter Howmuchdoyouloveme was to be stomach-tubed on the morning before it raced at Flemington last November.

Kane Ashby, the head of Racing Victoria's Compliance Assurance Team told the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) the information was supplied during an earlier inspection of another stable.

As a result, Ashby and a fellow steward staked out the Flemington premises housing Howmuchdoyouloveme on November 3 and discovered a bag containing tubing equipment they allege was to be used on the horse.

Stomach-tubing is a process which delivers fluid directly into a horse's stomach through a tube passed through its nose.

Howmuchdoyouloveme's trainer Con Karakatsanis and his father Tony, a registered stablehand, subsequently received bans of nine months and two years respectively for conspiring to tube the horse within the prohibited 24-hour period before a race.

Ashby told the VCAT review of the original hearing before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board the stewards were told Howmuchdoyouloveme was to be tubed at 11am on the day in question.

But he said he received no information on what was to be administered.

Ashby also told the VCAT hearing no-one arrived at the stable until around 1pm and that they hadn't observed the horse being tubed and had found no sign of some of the vital ingredients required in the process.

The only substance among the equipment found in the horse's box capable of being administered by a stomach tube was saline powder Tony Karakatsanis said he had prepared for a post-race treatment.

It has been established such a solution would have been detrimental to the horse had it been used before it raced.

Any kind of treatment, including stomach tubing for any purpose, is banned during the 24 hours before a horse races.

The hearing before Justice John Nixon continues on Wednesday.

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