Racing Victoria has reaffirmed that its integrity unit acts in the best interests of all industry participants, after leading Victorian trainer Peter Moody on Tuesday questioned the tactics of the unit on radio station RSN.
Moody took exception to a recent request by RV stewards to hand over the keys to his Caulfield stables, in line with requests made to other trainers to ensure stewards have unhindered access to all stables throughout Victoria.
Stewards said the measure had been introduced to ensure appropriate stable practices were being followed.
Moody said he had resigned from the Australian Trainers’ Association over the matter, because he felt the organisation was not representing the interests of members.
''I’m all for integrity, I’m all for it, but I just find it belittling to suggest that I need to hand over the keys to my stable to the stewards,'' he told RSN.
''I think we do need [ramped up] integrity matters, but to what degree? Where does it start, and end?''
RV's executive general manager of integrity, Dayle Brown, said later on RSN that the initiative was designed to ensure timely access for all stewards' inspections.
''Approximately 20 stables gave our compliance assurance team unlimited access to their facilities in June 2013, so this initiative is simply an extension of the work already being done to protect the integrity of Victorian thoroughbred racing,'' he said.
''The request for unlimited access was put forward following a number of incidents where members of the compliance assurance team were prevented from gaining access to stables, severely restricting them in their duties.
"By requesting unhindered access from all stables, we’re simply ensuring everyone is on a level playing field. We have provided assurances regarding stable entry, and inspections will only be conducted when a representative from the stable is present.''
Brown said RV was at the forefront of integrity management in Australian racing and was committed to protecting Victorian racing by implementing best practice integrity assurance processes.
RV has so far conducted 622 stable inspections during the 2013-14 racing season, up from 339 last season. The significant increase is due to an expansion of the compliance assurance team, with two former Victoria Police detectives joining the unit in May last year.