Eight charges against Philip Fenton, of Garryduff, South Lodge, Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, have been brought by the Department of Agriculture and Food and the case was mentioned in court for the eighth time yesterday in Carrick.
Judge Terence Finn accepted jurisdiction in the matter, which means the hearing will take place in the district court rather than moving to a higher court.
The trainer was in court for the brief hearing and sat with his solicitor Declan Molan.
State solicitor Paul Fitzpatrick said the charges arose from an inspection by the department at Mr Fenton’s training yard on January 18, 2012.
Mr Fitzpatrick said a kilogramme of Nitrotain, an anabolic steroid, was allegedly found at the yard as well as a 20ml bottle of Ilium Stanabolic, also an anabolic steroid.
The trainer was also allegedly in possession of antibiotics for which he didn’t have veterinary prescriptions, required under the relevant legislation.
The state solicitor said a file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions whose view was that it was a matter for the state prosecutor to deal with, and that it could proceed in the district court, subject to the judge’s view.
Judge Finn said the court was satisfied to accept jurisdiction in relation to all charges. Mr Fitzpatrick said the State would have about eight witnesses and he wouldn’t be in a position to marshall them all until late October. He expected the case to take about a day, he said.
Johnny Walsh, barrister for Mr Fenton, agreed with that timescale and said he didn’t think the defence would be extending it beyond a day.
Judge Finn adjourned the case until October 23.
Mr Fenton’s horses, including Dunguib and Last Instalment, were allowed to run at the Cheltenham Festival in March after the charges against him became public, following a probe by the British Horseracing Authority — which found no evidence of the administration of illegal substances.