Maher relieved Azkadellia case is over

Brad Waters - Tuesday September 26

Caulfield Cup-winning trainer Ciaron Maher says he is relieved that his case is over despite receiving a six-month suspension and a $75,000 fine on Monday.

Ciaron Maher's career is on hold for the next six months. Photo: Darryl Sherer

Maher pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct prejudicial to the image, or interests or welfare of racing after admitting he failed to take action to determine the right ownership of Group I winner Azkadellia and four other horses.

Maher sent a message to his owners outlining the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board verdict on Monday afternoon.

"As you have probably just heard, I have pleaded guilty to (breaching) Section 175A, and today the RAD board have suspended me for six months and fined me $75,000. The suspension starts on the 2nd October," Maher's message read.

"While I am disappointed to find myself in this situation, I am relieved a decision has finally been made. I would like to thank the RAD board for their consideration of my case.

"The past 12 months have certainly taken a toll on my health; however, I have an incredibly supportive and talented team at Ciaron Maher Racing who will be able to ensure the smooth running of the operation in the interim.

"I would like to thank the team at Ciaron Maher Racing, my loyal owners and all those close to me for their ongoing support and trust. I will keep you fully informed with the next steps."

While Maher was relieved to have the case resolved, Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey said the investigation was a "very long, drawn-out" probe.

"As far as the investigation goes, it involved a lot of people and it had a lot of speed humps all the way," Bailey said.

"It shouldn't have taken as long (as it did)."

Bailey said Maher would need to meet with stewards before determining the arrangements for his large stable for the next six months until he is able to return on April 2 next year.

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