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Danny O’Brien continues evidence at VCAT

As a professional trainer Danny O’Brien has travelled the world looking at different ways of training racehorses.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal previously heard O’Brien adopted some of those methods from leading trainers such as Aidan O’Brien and Mike De Kock.

He told VCAT on Wednesday he had decided on an IV drip program after his vet Tom Brennan told him it was a method used by leading Australian trainer Chris Waller to aid post-race recovery.

O’Brien had been using a saline drench to aid horses in their recovery and was willing to undergo a trial of IV drips post exercise on a bi-weekly basis.

He said it was only the mode of delivery that had changed.

O’Brien said Brennan had pitched a more sophisticated way of delivering the vitamins, minerals and electrolytes that were first introduced by Dr Jon Van Veenendaal via a drench before Brennan took over as his vet.

O’Brien told the hearing that he did not know the recipe of the drips his vets used.

“John Van and Tom both had their own formulas,” he said.

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O’Brien claims he still doesn’t know the full constituent ingredients of the drips that were used on his horses.

“I have not been able to forensically analyse the drips,” he told the hearing.

Brennan has been disqualified by NSW and Victorian authorities for his part in the cobalt case against Sydney trainer Sam Kavanagh and the cases against O’Brien and Melbourne trainer Mark Kavanagh.

The vet has denied knowing the substance, vitamin complex, contained high levels of cobalt.

O’Brien told the hearing he had no idea other trainers were using IV drips until he had the conversation with Brennan.

Among the other training regimes he adopted were to put in a purpose-built straight 1000m grass gallop at his Barwon Heads property after seeing Aidan OBrien’s set-up in Irelan.

After staying with South African De Kock, at his Newmarket base in England, O’Brien invested in a treadmill that enabled his horses to be galloped without being saddled.

He also spent $400,000 on high altitude boxes at his stables after learning Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir was using them.

O’Brien and Mark Kavanagh are at VCAT appealing cobalt disqualifications of four and three years respectively.

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