Former horse trainer Mark Davies told colleague Mick Tubman he won $12,000 from a bet on one of Mr Tubman's horses during Melbourne Cup week months before traces of EPO were found at a Wollongong stable, a racing inquiry has heard.
Mr Davies failed to appear in front of Racing NSW stewards on Monday to give evidence into the discovery of bottles containing metabolites of EPO, which led to small-time trainer Mr Tubman pleading guilty to two counts of possessing the prohibited substance on his property.
But the 72-year-old Kembla Grange horseman insists he has no idea how they came to be in a fridge on his Wollongong complex, in which hobby trainer Mr Davies also previously rented boxes.
The inquiry heard that the source of the prohibited substance may have been a person associated to Mr Davies.
Stewards heard evidence Mr Davies boasted to Mr Tubman he had collected $12,000 from a bet on the Mr Tubman-trained Red Henno after it won a race at Hawkesbury during Melbourne Cup week last year.
But stewards could find no record of such a large winning, insisting their own examination of betting records shows Mr Davies winning just "one twentieth" of that amount.
Chief steward Marc Van Gestel described Mr Davies as a "$10 punter", but he was also found to have had a "significant bet" on Tubman's Bye See before it ran second in a Provincial Championship qualifier at Kembla Grange in March.
The inquiry heard that apart from leasing some boxes from Mr Tubman, Mr Davies was also responsible for any injections on Mr Tubman's horses because the trainer suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome. He is only able to inject a horse in a muscle and his hands are not capable enough to successfully administer injections into a vein.
Mr Tubman told stewards he would only prepare vitamins in syringes which he would give to Mr Davies to use on his horses and he was unaware of any EPO being given to thoroughbreds stabled on the property. No horse has tested positive to the growth hormone and Mr Tubman has not been charged with any administration offences.
When told stewards wanted to ask Mr Davies about his betting activities, Mr Tubman's legal counsel, Wayne Pasterfield said: "We'd like to ask him too [about betting activities]. I would also be suspicious why he couldn't use his own stables [for some of his horses].
"[Mr Tubman] had no idea those bottles were in his fridge. He's 72 years of age, he's got children and grandchildren, he's got half a dozen horses in work and he's not in the best of health as you can see and [this story] is a bit like a TV show."
Mr Tubman is most famously known for the exploits of his wonder filly Chance Bye, which won more than $500,000 in prize money in her career. She won the Silver Slipper en route to running in the 2010 Golden Slipper, the world's richest race for two-year-olds.
Stewards disqualified Mr Tubman for four months, three of which he has already served after being stood down when stewards raided his stable in June.
Mr Davies has not been charged by stewards.