Trainer Jarrod McLean has been questioned behind closed doors at a stewards inquiry called after he was charged by police with several charges including animal cruelty.
McLean’s legal representative Patrick Wheelahan successfully submitted the hearing should be closed to media.
Three inquiries involving McLean, registered stablehand Tyson Kermond and licensed jockey manager and registered stable employee William Hernan, have all begun behind closed doors.
McLean was directed to attend the inquiry at Racing Victoria headquarters on Thursday after Victoria Police issued 16 charges against him.
The Group One-winning trainer was arrested, and later released, in dawn raids on properties associated with now disqualified trainer Darren Weir in January.
McLean was charged on Wednesday with multiple counts of engaging in torturing, abusing, overworking and terrifying a thoroughbred racehorse; and causing unreasonable pain or suffering to a thoroughbred racehorse.
He is facing 16 charges which also include conduct that corrupts betting outcomes and possessing cocaine.
Along with being a trainer in his own right, McLean was Weir’s right hand man in charge of the disgraced trainer’s Warrnambool stable.
Weir was charged with nine offences on Wednesday by the Victoria Police Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit on Wednesday and will appear before stewards at a date yet to be determined.
Kermond is facing seven police charges and was not present at RV headquarters with stewards acceding to a request he be represented by his lawyer.
Hernan was issued one charge of corrupt conduct.
All four are due to face Melbourne Magistrates court on October 23.