Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have received information from Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) regarding the detection of hyoscine and atropine in analysed swab samples. Both of these substances are classified as prohibited substances under the Australian Rules of Harness Racing.
Trainers affected have been notified and investigations are ongoing.
HRV Stewards have collaborated with the Racing Victoria Limited (RVL) Compliance Assurance Team in conducting this investigation as RVL Stewards have also been notified of low level traces of hyoscine and atropine (below reporting levels) being detected by RASL.
Early information suggests that a possible explanation of the laboratory findings is the ingestion of material from the Datura species, which includes the Thornapple plant, and the Brugmansia species which includes the Angel’s Trumpet flower.
Trainers are therefore advised to be aware of suspicious plant material which may be in hay, grain mixes, feed additives and the like. Trainers are also advised to search the internet for further details and images of the Datura and Brugmansia plants and check stable surroundings for the presence of unidentified or suspicious flora.
Trainers are advised to regularly check their horses’ environments and feedstuffs for the presence of unidentified plant material as a number of plants, such as tea plants (caffeine) or poppy plants (morphine), may contain prohibited substances.
Trainers are also reminded that it is their ultimate responsibility to ensure horses are presented to race free of prohibited substances.
Should trainers have any questions about this notice or wish to report the detection of any suspicious plant material, please call the Integrity Department on 8378 0200.
Harness Racing Victoria