Leading trainer Peter Moody has avoided a three-year disqualification after the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board could not be satisfied he deliberately administered cobalt to Lidari in the spring of 2014.

Peter Moody has avoided a three-year disqualification at the RAD Board on Wednesday. Photo: Darryl Sherer

Lidari returned an elevated cobalt reading when he ran second in the Group I Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington in October 2014,

The high reading prompted stewards to charge Moody with administering cobalt to the import with the intention of affecting his performance and two lesser charges.

The RAD Board handed down its judgement on Wednesday, clearing Moody of the most serious charge but finding him guilty of administering a prohibited substance, or causing it to be administered, which carries a significantly lesser penalty.

Moody’s defence centred on the hoof powder Availa, which he said had been used in higher than recommended doses because of a mix-up between stable staff that caused the supplement to be fed to the horse twice.

Moody Racing staff members Rammohan Myala and Neil Alexander gave evidence supporting the trainer’s claims but the RAD Board, chaired by Judge Bowman, deemed the pair poor witnesses.

The RAD Board noted stewards had asked them to draw the inference that the only way the high cobalt level could have been present in Lidari’s system was via other means.

The three-man panel declared it was satisfied the cobalt reading was because of “something occurring within the stables”, it could not be comfortably satisfied Moody administered the substance with the aim of affecting his performance in a race.

However, the RAD Board attacked the way Moody operates his feeding and supplement regime, declaring the “significant carelessness” in the way the trainer runs his stable.

Counsel for both sides will present submissions on penalty on Thursday afternoon.

Racing Victoria declined to comment on the RAD Board decision.