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Racing inquiry will be the city's best soap opera

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Kate McClymont, Chris Roots

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I'll leave that to the vet: Singleton

The racing world is getting set for Monday's stewards' inquiry into the More Joyous affair. So how did we get here?

PT0M0S 620 349

There will be standing room only on Monday as the soap opera that has torn asunder one of the most successful racing partnerships in the country moves to Racing NSW's headquarters in Druitt Street in the city.

The drama will not be broadcast live, with racing executives turning down requests from television channels to allow filming in the hearing room.

Heading the inquiry will be chief steward Ray ''The Hat'' Murrihy. He will be joined on the panel by the four stewards who were on duty at Randwick racecourse last Saturday, when More Joyous ran poorly in the All Aged Stakes.

To appear: (from left) Robbie, Gai and Tom Waterhouse.

To appear: (from left) Robbie, Gai and Tom Waterhouse. Photo: Getty Images

The champion mare's owner, radio proprietor John Singleton, later claimed bookmaker Tom Waterhouse had prior knowledge that the horse couldn't win. Tom Waterhouse denies this.

Adding to the drama are a cast of colourful characters who will front the inquiry on Monday to detail who said what to whom and when about whether More Joyous was fit to run.

So far the cast includes trainer Gai Waterhouse, son Tom and husband Robbie, who was warned off racecourses around the world for years over the Fine Cotton betting scandal.

The stewards will rely on phone records and betting sheets to follow the money trail - if there is one.

Others involved in the Chinese-whispers section of the inquiry are rugby league player Andrew Johns; his one-time horse racing partner Eddie Hayson, who owns a brothel; and their mate Allan Robinson, a former jockey.

Johns is alleged to have had a conversation with Tom Waterhouse which later found its way back to Singleton via Robinson.

Racing executives will meet on Friday to review the evidence obtained to date, to decide whether the participants can bring their lawyers and whether the stewards will need their own barrister to assist in the inquiry.

While the furore around her run might be continuing, More Joyous is enjoying a break in a paddock at Mr Singleton's Strawberry Hills farm. As part of the investigation, Racing NSW chief veterinarian Craig Suann travelled to the central coast property to inspect the mare on Thursday. His report will form part of the evidence for Monday's hearing.

Mr Singleton's racing manager, Duncan Grimley, said a decision to retire her or not will be made before the end of the month. ''She is healthy and having a break,'' Mr Grimley said. ''If she is retired she will go to England to be serviced by Frankel, so that decision would have to be made this month.''

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