CAULFIELD Cup-winning trainer Ciaron Maher has been suspended for six months and fined $75,000 at a Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board hearing in Melbourne on Monday.
Maher pleaded guilty under charge AR 175A for conduct prejudicial to the bona fides in the ownership of five horses including top mare Azkadellia.
The group one winner had been raced by notorious conman Peter Foster and his niece Arabella Foster but was in the ownership of Ben Connolly who was Maher’s racing manager.
Maher, who has seven days to work out training arrangements for his big stable of horses, said he was sorry for his mistake.
“I’m sorry for my actions,” he said.
“I made a mistake and now I’ve got to accept the decision by the board. My behaviour has ramifications for lots of people and I’m sad about that.
“I’ve learnt a valuable lesson through this matter. I love training horses and I can’t wait till I can resume.
“I’ll be working out with stewards over the next few days training arrangements for the horses.”
His ban starts on October 2.
Maher won the Caulfield Cup last year with Jameka. Top jumping mare Regina Coeli gave Maher his fourth Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase victory in May this year.