Day At The Track

Leading trainer disqualified for twelve months

12:00 AM 11 May 2018 NZST
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Disqualified, Harness Racing

Stewards have today concluded deliberations, after hearing submissions on the question of penalty on 1 May 2018, following the determination to find Mr Kim Prentice guilty to a charge under Rule 190 with the particulars being that as the harness racing trainer he presented EXTRADITE NZ to race in Race 5 at Northam on 25 November 2017 where it raced and finished first, not free of the prohibited substance cobalt, evidenced by a concentration of cobalt in excess of 100 micrograms per litre in urine.

After consideration Stewards determined the appropriate penalty to be a disqualification of twelve (12) months, however in view of the time that has elapsed since Mr Prentice was suspended in part and full pending outcome of this inquiry, the period of disqualification was reduced to expire as of midnight 7 January 2019.

Pursuant to Rule 195 of the RWWA Harness Rules of Racing, EXTRADITE NZ was disqualified from the race in question and the placings amended accordingly with the commensurate implications to all stake money and payments to apply. 

In determining penalty Stewards took into account:

Mr Prentice’s long and unblemished record within the industry and co-operation at all stages of this matter

The level of 150ug/L reported by the Chem Centre

The nature of the substance and the seriousness of the offence in all of the circumstances

That the Stewards were not satisfied that the use of VAM, as reported by Mr Prentice and as supported to some degree by his treatment records, fully accounted for the reported level in EXTRADITE NZ. Accordingly the inquiry had not determined to the requisite standard the reason why EXTRADITE NZ had exceeded the threshold level.

Notwithstanding the above, that Mr Prentice had only recently introduced the use of VAM into his training without seeking professional veterinary opinion, despite industry notices which discouraged use of these products close to racing, advising trainers amongst other things; 

• That a normal racing diet is more than sufficient to meet a horse’s nutritional requirements for cobalt and vitamin B12. 

• That registered injectable cobalt supplements offer no nutritional advantages because incorporation of cobalt into the vitamin B12 molecule occurs within the horse’s gut. 

• To consult with their veterinarians to ensure that their oral supplementation regimen provides only the amount of cobalt necessary to meet the scientifically established nutritional requirements of the horse for cobalt.

“Whilst the threshold has been set at a level to allow for normal levels of cobalt supplementation through routine nutritional sources, trainers are advised that the administration of certain registered vitamin supplements, particularly by injection, close to racing may result in a level of cobalt in a subsequent sample that exceeds this threshold. Trainers are therefore advised to avoid the use of these supplements close to racing. 

Examples of injectable vitamin supplements that contain cobalt and/or vitamin B12 include, but are not limited, to V.A.M. injection, Hemo-15 and Hemoplex.”

•  Penalties issued in WA and other jurisdiction in relation to this prohibited substance

•  The need for deterrence both general and specific

Denis Borovica – General Manager Racing Integrity

Ph: 9445 5427


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