Connolly hearing on ownership bona fides

Suspended trainer Ciaron Maher’s former racing manager faces a penalty hearing over the ownership bona fides of five horses actually owned by convicted con man Peter Foster.

Ben Connolly will plead guilty to two charges over the ownership of Group One-winning mare Azkadellia, Little Bubulu, Loveable Rogue, Hart and Mr Simples, who were raced in his name.

Maher was last month suspended for six months and fined $75,000 after conceding he should have known those five horses were actually owned by Foster.

Connolly confessed that Foster was involved in the ownership of the horses, Maher’s Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board hearing was told.

Connolly, who stood down from his position with the stable in September 2016, will front the RAD Board on Monday for a penalty hearing.

Racing Victoria stewards allege Connolly engaged in dishonest, improper and/or dishonourable action or practice in connection with racing and that he misrepresented and provided misleading and/or inaccurate information about the ownership of the horses.

Maher pleaded guilty to conduct prejudicial to racing.

The Caulfield Cup-winning trainer did not know about Foster’s involvement but accepted he should have known.

Credit: AAP

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