Harness Racing New South Wales Stewards today (Thursday May 6) inquired into a report from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory that the post race urine sample taken from Hush Woman after that horse competed in Race 3 Hilltops Equine Centre Ladyship Pace 2100m at Young 12 February, 2010 showed the presence of the prohibited substances Atropine and Scopolamine.
Evidence today was taken from Mr. Graham Betts the trainer of Hush Woman, who is by. Written evidence was provided by Dr Craig Suann, Senior Veterinarian assisting the ARFL.
After taking into account the absolute liability of the prohibited substances rules Graham Betts pleaded guilty to a charge under Rule 190 (1) (2) & (4) in that as the trainer of Hush Woman on the abovementioned date he presented that horse to race and a post race urine sample taken from it was found upon analysis to show the presence of the prohibited substances Atropine and Scopolamine.
The evidence disclosed that Mr. Betts had been feeding the mare Lucerne hay which upon inspection was found to have been contaminated with the plant Thorn Apple which is known to contain the prohibited substances Atropine and Scopolamine. In addition a search of Mr. Betts stable area found a number of both mature and seedling Thorn Apple plants actively growing.
After considering all the evidence including Mr. Betts training record over an extensive period and his forthright evidence the stewards were satisfied there had been no personal wrong-doing or failing on behalf of Mr. Betts and as such no conviction was recorded and no penalty was imposed.
Acting under Rule 195 Hush Woman was disqualified from the above mentioned race.