The five Victorian trainers charged over cobalt positives face the possibility of having their licences stripped before their charges are even heard after they were issued show-cause notices by Racing Victoria Stewards on Friday, reports Racing Victoria (

Peter MoodyDanny O’BrienMark Kavanagh and the training partnership of Lee and Shannon Hope must front Racing Victoria stewards on Wednesday and show cause why their licenses shouldn’t be suspended pending the hearing of charges later in the year.

It’s a significant escalation in the cobalt saga, with the prospect that Moody, O’Brien and Kavanagh, three of the biggest trainers in the state, will be forced to sit on the sidelines during the Spring Carnival while they await the hearing of their charges.

Kavanagh’s son, Sam, was stood down by Racing NSW stewards ahead of his cobalt hearing, but he had already given stewards significant information and co-operation about the details of the treatment of his horses.

After a lengthy investigation, the Hopes, O’Brien and Kavanagh were charged in June over their horses testing over the allowable 200ug threshold for cobalt, along with vet Dr Tom Brennan, while Moody was charged this month over the positive test for his horse Lidari in last October’s Group 1 Turnbull Stakes. A total of nine horses have tested over the permissible level for cobalt

The Hopes are the only ones to have yet had a date set for their hearing, October 15, 16 and 19, while the others are expected to know the timeline of their hearings when further directions hearings are held in the coming weeks.

Brennan, who is facing 20 charges in relation to veterinary services he provided to O’Brien and Kavanagh, has agreed to stand down from providing veterinary services to racehorses in Victoria, from August 1.