Group 1 winning trainer Robert Heathcote has had his penalty on a misconduct charge altered from a fine to a reprimand

Rob Heathcote’s penalty for a misconduct charge has been downgraded from a fine to a reprimand but that hasn’t altered his determination to appeal the decision.

The Courier-Mail revealed last month how the multiple Group 1 winning Brisbane trainer was fined $500, half of which was suspended, after stewards found him guilty of a charge which falls under the category of conduct detrimental to the interests of racing.

Heathcote did not deny saying “f— you’ to Mark Du Plessis in a frustrated debrief at Eagle Farm when the trainer believed Du Plessis did not follow instructions to lead when Stuttering finished third as the $3.40 second favourite in a race on February 6.

But Heathcote was adamant no one else on course heard his remarks and it was not a personal attack on the jockey, which the trainer taped on his phone and sent to Stuttering’s owners and was subsequently leaked on social media.

At the time Heathcote, an 11-time Group 1 winner, vowed to fight the guilty finding and the penalty and said his remarks were a private post-race conversation and on principle believed he had broken no rules.

The internal review into the Queensland stewards decision has now been completed with the review finding: “Original decision of charge confirmed, penalty amended – reprimand.”

Despite having the fine quashed, Heathcote has indicated he still plans to take the matter further to QCAT as a matter of principle as the guilty finding has remained and he insists he is not guilty of anything.

Brisbane stewards only became aware of the matter when a 49-second audio clip of the exchange was circulated on social media.

Originally published asRob Heathcote fine quashed over ‘F-bomb’ jockey spray

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