Robert Smerdon will have his appeal against his ban for doping head on Wednesday. (AAP Image/Joe Castro)
Robert Smerdon will have his appeal against his ban for doping head on Wednesday. (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

Aquanita case returns to VCAT

THE Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal is on Wednesday scheduled to hold a directions hearing regarding the Aquanita doping case.

Legal representatives for four disqualified trainers - Robert Smerdon, Tony Vasil, Stuart Webb and Liam Birchley - will appear with Racing Victoria lawyers at VCAT.

The hearing will decide the next phase in the most complex integrity scandal in Australian racing history.

All four trainers have appealed against bans of varying lengths issued by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board.

Smerdon was outed for life and fined $90,000 for his role as ringleader in a doping ring which operated undisturbed for seven years.

Meanwhile, Jameka ticked off another box in her quest to return to the racetrack when she successfully competed in a 800m jump-out at Caulfield on Tuesday.

Ciaron Maher's assistant trainer David Eustace said Jameka would trial at Cranbourne on August 6 which could decide whether she does return to the racetrack.

Fellow trainer Darren Weir believes the Lightning Stakes in Adelaide is a better fit for sprinter Nature Strip than the Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.

Nature Strip will contest the Lightning Stakes at Morphettville on Saturday. Picture: Getty Images
Nature Strip will contest the Lightning Stakes at Morphettville on Saturday. Picture: Getty Images

Nature Strip was one of several of Weir's stars who galloped at Mortlake on Tuesday and he worked impressively over 800m.

Weir believes the three-year-old colt is better suited over 1050m rather than tackle older proven horses over 1200m.

Weir will have three runners in the Bletchingly Stakes - Voodoo Lad, Black Heart Bart and Camdus.

Damian Lane will ride Nature Strip in the Lightning Stakes which means Craig Williams has won his seventh Melbourne jockeys' premiership.

Lane trails Craig Williams by six heading into the second last meeting of the season at Sandown Hillside on Wednesday where he has seven rides.

Williams will be in action at Caulfield on Saturday as he resumes riding from his break.

Lane though will win the Victorian Jockeys Premiership where he has ridden 129 winners and is five in front of the suspended Linda Meech.


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