Trainer Ben Currie faces two tests

BRISBANE Apr 19 2019

Controversial Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie has spent the past week in an idyllic resort but he will return to stark reality to face a career-defining week.

Currie, who has been at a wedding in Bali, faces 42 allegations ranging from race day treatments to use of a jigger dating back to April last year.

Despite his appearance at more than a dozen stewards inquiries and various tribunal hearings over an 11-month period none of the allegations have been resolved.

Currie was successful in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Thursday in extending a stay order which allows him to train while he fights a suspension on seven of his charges.

QCAT member Steven Holzberger found to deny the stay would have been extremely detrimental to Currie while he could not see how granting it would undermine the integrity of racing.

In the background there had been a push by some racing power brokers for RQ to invoke a rule which allows it to reject Currie's nominations until the charges against him are resolved.

AR 55 in effect gives the principal club (RQ) the power to reject nominations without giving a reason.

Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has stated he would support RQ in implementing the rule as have several other leading race club officials.

The Brisbane Racing Club has already used a similar rule in the Liqour Act to bar Currie from its racetracks.

However, it is understood RQ held off moving under the rule until the result of Thursday's stay application.

Once the stay was extended RQ then sent Currie and his lawyers a letter asking him explain why his nominations should not be rejected.

Currie has until 2pm on Friday to respond which because of the Easter/Anzac Day holidays is three working days.

The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission has notified Currie a stewards inquiry into two charges which involve allegations of jiggers will resume on Wednesday.

Three days of the inquiry were held this week and it was adjourned but QRIC commissioner Ross Barnett confirmed the inquiry would now resume on Wednesday.



Mark Oberhardt - AAP

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