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Plumptre pleads guilty to charge in Godolphin strangles inquiry
04 Aug 2017 | ThoroughbredNEWS News Desk 

The former Managing Director of Godolphin Australia Henry Plumptre on Friday pleaded guilty to the Racing NSW stewards' charge under AR64K(2) for not reporting to Racing NSW as soon as possible that Polemic was confirmed as being infected with strangles from on or about 5 August 2016.

Former trainer John O'Shea pleaded not gulity to two charges, the first under AR175(l) for being a party to Plumptre committing a breach of AR64K(2) for not reporting to Racing NSW as soon as possible that Polemic was confirmed as being infected with strangles from on or about 4 August 2016; the second under AR175(g) of providing false and/or misleading evidence at a Stewards interview on 16 June 2017 and a Stewards Inquiry on 27 June 2017.

Plumptre read from a statement admitting he had erred in withholding Polemic's condition from Racing NSW as required by the Australian rule of racing AR64K(2).

His legal counsel Peter Braham conceded Plumptre "went to war with (O'Shea) on a number of issues (in regards to workplace practices) which was a long, tiring (and) drawn out process" over the time of Polemic's condition was known to the stable.

Plumptre said he said he was satisfied Polemic's case would not affect either Godolphin's horse population or that of the wider Sydney basin after the colt was quarantined last August.

"It occurred during the week I was investigating a serious bullying issue at Osborne Park," Plumptre said.

"I considered the (stangles issue) and noticed there was a strong reluctance from the training team to report it and I agreed to monitor the colt.

"At the time did I consider the bullying issue to be of more importance? The answer would be yes and I acknowledge that would be wrong. It is of great disappointment to me that I failed in this instance."

Plumptre said he did not seek to "deny, deflect or minimise" the charge - a result of a "bad mistake".

His submission on penalty included references from leading Victorian Melbourne Cup winning owner Lloyd Williams, Australia's leading trainer Chris Waller and Hong Kong Jockey Club chief executiv Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges.

Plumtre apologised to Racing NSW and the wider Australian racing public and said that he plans to return to the industry as a bloodstock agent after resigning from his job last week.

O'Shea, who resigned from his role as head trainer for Godolphin in Australia in early May after three years in the role, said that he was disappointed in the charges.

"I'm extremely disappointed to be even considered to give false evidence," he said.

"I emphatically deny that. It's not in my nature to make false or misleading statements."

O'Shea has been given stables at Randwick to make his comeback as a public trainer.

Henry Plumptre, picture


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