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Inside Running: RV staff to be put under oath regarding Laming bungle

Up to a dozen people involved in the bungled Richard Laming Victorian Racing Tribunal case have been called to give evidence at an independent inquiry starting next week.

The conduct of senior Racing Victoria steward Dion Villella and his colleague Mark Stevens will be centre to the inquiry, run by Victoria’s new Racing Integrity commissioner Sean Carroll.

Victoria’s new racing integrity commissioner Sean Carroll.

Victoria’s new racing integrity commissioner Sean Carroll.Credit:Getty

Phone records and correspondence have been called for as part of that investigation.

Racing Victoria conducted its own internal inquiry into the reasons why lawyers were forced to drop charges of stomach-tubing against Laming, finding that Villella contacted Stevens three times in breach of a Victorian Racing Tribunal order.

But Carroll will re-interview those involved under oath as part of his own inquiry over three days next week.

“We’ll speak to all the witnesses that are involved from Racing Victoria and those externally that we believe [we need to] to make our own decision on what occurred,” Carroll told RSN radio last month.

Fan favourite

Cult hero So Si Bon is searching for his eighth career start at Caulfield on Saturday and will boast the services of the West Australian wizard Willie Pike.

Over 63 career starts, So Si Bon has won seven races. Through his first 48 career starts, he won just three races. He has since won four of his past 15 – that run began in this race, the VOBIS Mile, at Caulfield a year ago.

Toorak Handicap winner Mr Quickie is also in the race and will take beating in the field of six.

Pike will ride in eight of the nine races at the Victorian owners and breeders raceday including Perth sprinter Laverrod, blueblood filly Sisstar and Godolphin two-year-old Sliders.

Willie Pike rode four winners at Mornington Cup day last month.

Willie Pike rode four winners at Mornington Cup day last month.Credit:Getty Images

Championships galore

Autumn’s middle-distance crown will be up for grabs when Verry Elleegant and Addeybb clash again in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Addeybb is the reigning champion, but Verry Elleegant had his measure in the Ranvet Stakes three weeks ago. Sir Dragonet and Mugatoo are also among the chances.

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Meanwhile, Montefilia, fresh out of a disappointing Derby run, will meet her own sex in the ATC Oaks. The star-studded field includes Hungry Heart, Harmony Rose and Kiwi filly Amarelinha.

In the Sydney Cup, Favourite Moon for William Haggas and Realm Of Flowers, trained by Anthony and Sam Freedman, will share favouritism, while Probabeel will take some beating in the 1600-metre Queen Of The Turf for mares.

Sydney’s autumn racing carnival will culminate in the All Aged Stakes meeting next Saturday.

Missed milestone

Did champion jockey Damien Oliver notch his 3000th career win earlier this year? According to wife Trish he did, while riding Melba Storm to victory at Ballarat on February 28.

In a tweet posted by journalist Bruce Clark, Trish Oliver said she “knew it [the 3000th winner] was coming up” and relied on family record keeping to calculate the career winners.

Racing has a lot of work to do when it comes to accurate record keeping, but one database – Racing and Sports – says Oliver has ridden 3007 career winners, including 122 group 1 victories, in a career spanning 34 years.

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