THE owners of 2012 Warrnambool Galleywood Hurdle winner Black And Bent have been handed a show cause notice why the galloper shouldn't be disqualified from the feature race victory.
Black And Bent, under the care of disgraced trainer Robert Smerdon, who headed up the Aquanita training operation, is one of 81 horses Racing Victoria is considering disqualifying after finding evidence of prohibited administration before races.
Disqualification opens the door for minor place-getters to get more prizemoney in races under review but a final decision regarding stakemoney will be made by the Racing Victoria Board.
More than $63,500 was paid in stakemoney to the owners of Black And Bent after his win over Gotta Take Care at the 2012 Warrnambool May Racing Carnival.
Warrnambool Racing Club chairman Nick Rule is fully supportive of Racing Victoria and its stewards department after they analysed evidence with respect to 395 incidences before handing out the 81 show cause notices.
"I've got to congratulate Racing Victoria and the stewards panel for their stance on this serious issue," Rule said.
"Integrity cuts to the heart of the racing industry. I must admit I feel sorry for the owners because I would say they never knew of any illegal practices by Smerdon, if the horses are disqualified I fully support the decision-making process that the racing authorities are putting in place."
From the 81 starters being considered for disqualification - 24 were winners, 24 were minor place-getters and 33 were unplaced, with the prizemoney won by each varying from $300,000 to none at all.
The stewards have written to managing owners of each of the 81 starters in question with the show cause notice advising them of their preliminary decision.
Each managing owner is being given the opportunity to respond in writing why the horse should not be disqualified.
They have to August 10 to respond.
Stewards will then make a final determination as to whether a horse is disqualified or not.
Black And Bent's victory in the 2010 Galleywood Hurdle is not under review.