Trainer Robert Smerdon is to fight the guilty verdict delivered by Victoria's Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board which found he had damaged the image of racing by passing money to jockey Damien Oliver.

The Board fined Smerdon $10,000, chairman Brian Forrest, declaring the circumstantial evidence against Smerdon weighed heavily enough to support the charge.

Forrest said Smerdon hadn't taken any steps to find out what the money was for and that it was more likely than not the proceeds of gambling on racing.

In earlier evidence Smerdon acknowledged he had given the money to Oliver at the request of commission agent and friend Mark Hunter.

But he maintained he didn't know what the money was for or from where it had originated and that he failed to inquire out of "common courtesy".

The charge arose from the case in which Oliver pleaded guilty to betting on the winner of a race in which he rode a rival horse at Moonee Valley in October, 2010.

Oliver admitted he bet $10,000 on credit through Hunter who placed it on the jockey's behalf.

He was duly banned for 10 months.

Counsel for the stewards Dr Cliff Pannam argued Smerdon played a fundamental role in the illegal transaction.

"The most important part of the process is facilitated by Mr Smerdon," Dr Pannam told the (RAD) Board.

Smerdon's counsel said an appeal would be lodged before the end of the week.

 

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