Group 1 winning trainer Lindsey Smith has hit out at what he calls offensive slurs from rival trainers, declaring ‘I’m not a cheat’.
Smith said he feels forced to come forward and defend his reputation after what he claimed were ‘offensive comments’ implied by trainers Wayne Hawkes and James Cummings regarding the sand dunes at Warrnambool.
“I’m not a cheat and I would have hoped I’ve done enough in my career to have earnt more respect that,” the former WA trainer said.
“I know Darren Weir is my mate but he doesn’t train my horses and it’s extremely disappointing to make that implication.”
“I’ve moved to Victoria with a small team of horses and shouldn’t be any kind of threat to these big name trainers.”
Weir was banned from racing for four years after electric-shock ‘jiggers’ were found on his property which are used to train horses to run faster. Weir had operations in Warrnambool before his ban.
It’s believed Smith is referring to comments from Hawkes on Racing.com’s After The Last last week were he claimed ‘’the old Warrnambool sand dunes are back in action’’. It is believed Cummings supported the statement on Saturday morning on RSN.
Smith is the inform trainer of the spring carnival so far having two Group 1 winners since setting up a satellite stable in Warrnambool earlier this year.
“I’m trying to convince my family to move over here and why would they now when there’s insinuations made like this against my character.
“The trainers should be more careful what they imply because it can have a serious impact on owners choosing to have horses with me if they think anything is suspect. My whole livelihood is on the line.”
Hawkes, who will respond to the comments on After The Last at 6.30pm AEDT on Monday, told racing.com he denied calling Smith a cheat.