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LEADING Queensland harness racing trainer Darrel Graham has met Peter Moody to discuss their collective bewilderment over positive tests to cobalt. While not formally charged, Graham has been notified his stable star Mafuta Vautin returned a positive test to cobalt in winning the $50,000 Qbred Triad final at Albion Park on May 30. Leading thoroughbred trainer Moody is fighting a case where Lidari tested positive when placing in the Turnbull Stakes last October. Graham was two days into a recent US holiday when he received news of the swab. Mafuta Vautin, named after colourful rugby league identity Paul Vautin, returned a cobalt reading of 342 micrograms a litre, well above the permitted reading of 200. “I am bewildered,’’ Graham said. “I don’t know anything about the stuff. I wouldn’t even know how to use it or have a clue what it looks like.’’ Representatives from the Day and McDowell families, harness racing licensees who faced cobalt charges, were also present at the meeting with Moody and Graham in Sydney on. Dean McDowell and Neil Day have been suspended for four years on cobalt charges and another three years for failing to attend the hearings. The meeting was also attended by former leading jockey turned trainer Kevin Moses, recently banned for a year for presenting a horse with an elevated cobalt reading. The meeting discussed if horses could have a cobalt level of more than 200mpl by accidental use of supplements. Cobalt use was originally detected in harness horses in the US and tests revealed that it was performance enhancing and a threat to a horse’s heart and nervous system.  

Columbus, OH --- The U.S. Trotting Association announced Monday that it will fund a research study by renowned equine researchers Dr. George Maylin from Morrisville State College in New York and Dr. Karyn Malinowski and Dr. Ken McKeever of Rutgers University in New Jersey to evaluate the effects of cobalt on red blood cell production (erythropoiesis) and performance enhancement in horses. Dr. Maylin anticipates that the study will commence at the beginning of September. "The purpose is to study the effects of cobalt on racehorses with the exercise physiology model used by Dr. McKeever to study drugs such as EPO," explained Dr. Maylin. "It's the only way to assess the pharmacological effects with this type of compound. It will be a dose-response study to see if some level of cobalt has an effect on performance." In a previous study funded by the USTA, the three researchers determined a baseline for what the normal levels of cobalt are in a Standardbred horse. "Most of the research has established that the naturally occurring levels in a horse are below 25 ppb but occasionally can range as high as 70 ppb," said USTA President Phil Langley in making the announcement. "The problem remains that, other than establishing the natural levels, little is really known about the effects of cobalt on horses when it is given in excessive amounts." Racing jurisdictions have set thresholds to regulate the use of cobalt because it is known to be toxic in humans. However, there is currently no scientific evidence to determine an appropriate threshold for horses because dose-response studies have not been reported. "The recent action of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on cobalt pretty much reflects the actions taken in many racing jurisdictions and the prevailing thought is that a warning at readings in excess of the 25 ppb level and a more severe penalty when the results exceed 50 ppb will dramatically reduce any improper use of cobalt," said Langley. In addition, there have been no controlled studies to document the purported performance enhancing effects of cobalt. The goal of the proposed study is to test the hypothesis that cobalt administration will alter biochemical parameters related to red blood cell production as well as markers of exercise performance. "The important questions are whether cobalt can dramatically improve a horse's performance or is detrimental to the horse's health," added Langley. "That's what this research aims to discover." Eight healthy, trained Standardbred mares will be used for this experiment. Before receiving any drug treatment, all animals will complete a series of baseline testing. According to the study plan, 50 mg of cobalt (Co HCl in one liter of saline) will be administered at 9 a.m. on three consecutive days. Blood samples will be obtained before and at one, two, four and 24 hours after administration. Administration will commence seven days after the first Graded Exercise Test (GXT). Plasma and blood volume will be measured two days after the last dose of cobalt. A post administration GXT will be performed the next day. Testing will be comprised of measurement of maximal aerobic capacity and markers of performance, measurement of plasma volume and blood volume as well as lactate, erythropoietin (EPO), thyroid hormones and various blood hematological factors. Cobalt toxicity and its ability to increase red blood cell production in humans have been known for more than 50 years. Recently there has been renewed interest in cobalt as a performance enhancing drug (PED) in race horses and human athletes. The possible toxicity associated with its use as a PED has become a welfare concern in the horse industry. The USTA Communications Department    

Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) Steward's concluded an Inquiry today into a report received from the Australian Government National Measurement Institute that cobalt above the threshold was detected in a post race urine sample taken from Tiny Tinker following its win in race 4, the TROTS TV LADYSHIP PACE (2030 metres) conducted at Newcastle on 19 March 2015. The "B" sample and associated control sample were confirmed by the ChemCentre in Western Australia. Mr Carroll pleaded guilty to a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 190 (1), (2) and (4) in that he did present Tiny Tinker to race at Newcastle on 19 March 2015, not free of a prohibited substance. Mr Carroll was disqualified for a period of 7 years in respect of the charge under Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) to commence from 19 May 2015, the date upon which he was stood down. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following; * This was Mr Carroll's 2nd offence for Rule 190 breaches, * That Cobalt is deemed a Class 1 substance under the HRNSW Penalty Guidelines, * The level recorded being 290 ug/L * Mr Carroll's guilty plea, licence history and other personal subjective facts. Mr. Carroll was informed of his right to appeal this decision Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, Tiny Tinker was disqualified from the abovementioned race.   Reid Sanders

LEXINGTON, KY - The President of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) today predicted that the currently unregulated horse breeding industry will ultimately be folded into any federal racing legislation that advances in Washington. "I fully anticipate that as current proposals advance in the legislative process, Members of Congress will heed comments made by a key supporter of federal intervention about the practices of Thoroughbred breeders that may be contributing to an inappropriate reliance on drugs," Ed Martin said. Prior to becoming involved with racing regulatory matters, Martin served as a senior aide on Capitol Hill for almost a decade. The President of the Humane Society of the United States and a member of The Jockey Club's coalition, Wayne Pacelle, wrote in a July 20, 2015 column published on the animal welfare website thedodo.com the following: "Doping horses for racing is more dangerous today than ever because breeding practices - which select for speed and champagne-glass legs - make the horses less sturdy and more vulnerable to breakdowns than they were even 10 or 20 years ago." The Thoroughbred breeding industry and related sales companies are not currently regulated by the states, creating a void that Martin predicted Congress would fill given the universal concern about Thoroughbred racing breakdowns. Martin noted that state racing commission medication reforms already implemented are starting to reduce catastrophic injuries in some jurisdictions as reported by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear at The Jockey Club's Roundtable conference this past weekend. He predicted that unregulated sales company medication policies that permit the stacking of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids to be used on horses going through the auction ring could be considered permissive. "I predict that Members of Congress will want to know why drugs need to be given to horses that have never raced and have not been injured," he said. The ARCI President said that if a state were to expand the jurisdiction of an ARCI member commission to regulate the breeding industry and sales companies, the association would begin working on Model Rules to assist that agency in meeting the legislative mandate. To date, that has not happened. Steve May

Three cobalt convictions in Queensland have been quashed on a technicality - and at least two more cases are likely to follow suit. Harness racing trainers Trevor Lambourn (three-year disqualification), Shawn Grimsey (18 months) and Ken Belford (18 months) have had their appeals upheld because the laboratories that tested their horses’ samples - in Perth and Sydney - weren’t accredited under the state’s Racing Act. It means the samples would have been inadmissible in court. It’s also expected the recent disqualifications of thoroughbred trainers Glen Baker (two years) and Jamie McConachy (18 months) will be overturned using the same loophole. It’s another embarrassing blow for Racing Queensland following the greyhound live-baiting scandal, which has claimed the jobs of key executives, with the organisation also set to post a $28 million loss for this financial year. Queensland Racing Minister Bill Byrne has announced a comprehensive audit of all handling procedures of the Racing Science Centre, the Office of Racing Regulation and Racing Queensland. Queensland’s Racing Science Centre has been able to test for cobalt in-house since May 26 and the secondary testing labs will be added to the certified list immediately. “Racing Queensland considers there is no question surrounding the accuracy of the results that have been returned on these samples,” RQ acting chief executive Ian Hall said. “The samples were tested by NATA-certified laboratories qualified to conduct such testing and confirmatory analysis. “There is an issue pertaining to an administrative error relating to the certification of the laboratories for the specific purposes of the Racing Act 2002 framework. “Today’s outcome does not impact any future samples in Queensland.” But it does affect a lot of the past work and reinforces the fact that everyone has to be diligent and dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’ when prosecuting these cases. By Tom Biddington Reprinted with permission of the racing.com.au site

A desperate Sam Kavanagh admits he went outside the rules to try to end a frustrating run of second placings by his horses. That desperation led to him to contact Dr Adam Matthews, a former employee of the Flemington Equine Clinic who Kavanagh says arranged for his horses to be treated by harness racing identity John Camilleri. Kavanagh fronted a Racing NSW inquiry on Monday sparked by elevated cobalt levels and caffeine found in Midsummer Sun after he won the Gosford Cup in January. The long-running stewards' investigation uncovered several substances in the trainer's stable including Vitamin Complex which was found to contain 175 times the level of cobalt normally found in a supplement. Kavanagh said he sourced the Vitamin Complex from Dr Tom Brennan, a partner in the Flemington Equine Clinic, who has also been charged. The trainer told the inquiry he had arranged with Matthews for Midsummer Sun to be treated on the day of the Gosford Cup. He had previous dealings with Matthews who made up 10 "yoghurt" drenches which Kavanagh paid for in late 2014 by putting money into a TAB account operated by Matthews' wife. Until recently, Matthews had not been available to give evidence to the inquiry but spoke via telephone link on Monday. He denied ever discussing the drenching of horses with Kavanagh. "I said to Adam Matthews I was sick of running second and he said he could introduce me to John Camilleri," Kavanagh said. Matthews said he knew Camilleri as a bloodstock agent and was also acquainted with Paul Sequenzia, a controversial harness racing owner. He said Sequenzia and Camilleri had owned at least one horse together. "I was one of the vets Paul Sequenzia used," Matthews said. Further evidence relating to Matthews' betting accounts was held in camera. Earlier, stewards rejected a submission from counsel representing Brennan that cobalt was not a prohibited substance. They said they were satisfied under the rules of racing, cobalt was considered prohibited because it had an effect on the blood system. Brennan has pleaded not guilty to administering cobalt but has admitted giving false evidence at a previous hearing. He has been named by Kavanagh as the source of the Vitamin Complex. Kavanagh also questioned whether high levels of cobalt could be maintained by the use of registered products containing small doses of cobalt. Midsummer Sun returned a level of 550 micrograms per litre of urine after he won the Gosford Cup on January 9, well above the national threshold of 200. In early February, Midsummer Sun broke his leg after a barrier trial at Rosehill and had to be euthanised. An autopsy revealed his cobalt level to be 79. By Caryl Williamson Reprinted with permission of the Bloodstock.co.au site

The two latest Queensland trainers to become embroiled in racing’s cobalt doping scandal have claimed their innocence and plan to fight to clear their names. Toowoomba thoroughbred trainer Rochelle Smith will face a stewards’ inquiry next week after two horses in her care returned positives to cobalt. The Smith-trained Vimzig returned a cobalt positive sample after winning a race at Toowoomba on May 16 and stablemate Grey Countess also returned a reading above the cobalt threshold when finishing second in a race at the Gold Coast on May 30. One of the state’s biggest names in harness racing, Darrel Graham also faces an inquiry early next month after his horse Mafuta Vautin returned a positive cobalt reading after winning the Group 2 Qbred Triad 4YO Entires & Geldings Final at Albion Park on May 30. All three positive samples were recorded on dates well after the 200 microgram per litre of urine national cobalt threshold was introduced for both codes. The Courier-Mail can also reveal there has been a further cobalt irregularity recorded in Queensland harness racing. The Queensland harness trainer involved with the irregularity has been notified but RQ stewards are waiting on secondary tests to come back before laying any possible charges. Graham, who is third in the statewide trainers’ premiership this season with his horses earning more than $643,000 in prizemoney in 2014-15, said he was stunned by the positive reading. “I’m completely bamboozled and I’ve had 130 winners for the season and all of a sudden one of these come up,” said Graham, who is currently in America. “The horse was a ($1.40) favourite and we own the horse ourselves and he drew one and if you have a look at the horse’s performances he has had (18 starts and won 12 of them).” Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Smith, who has been training in Toowoomba for eight years, also pleaded her innocence on Tuesday. “Since being informed of the positives I’ve done some research into numerous supplements that we use that contain levels of cobalt so that’s the avenue I’m investigating,” she said. “I’ve had other winners around the same time and all of our horses are treated the same so I was shocked that some had (cobalt positives) and some haven’t. “I’m blown away especially at the levels of one of them.” COBALT INQUIRY WIDENS TO COAST The new positives come after Queensland thoroughbred trainers Jamie McConachy and Len Treloar, who no longer holds a trainers’ licence in Queensland, and harness trainers Shawn Grimsey, Trevor Lambourn and Ken Belford all had horses return positives to cobalt last year. McConachy was found guilty on Tuesday of presenting Vandalised to race in the 2014 Rockhampton Cup with cobalt in his system. By Brad Davidson Reprinted with permission of The Courier-Mail

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to a charge issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 190(1) against licensed trainer Mr Chris Alford.  ARHR 190(1) reads as follows: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. The charge under ARHR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Alford related to a post-race urine sample collected from the horse ‘Stormed Out’ after it won Race 5, the ‘Bendigo Bank Pace’, at Geelong on 8 April 2015. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the urine sample revealed the sample to contain the prohibited substance phenylbutazone and its metabolite oxyphenbutazone. The Racing Science Centre in Queensland reported confirmation of these findings in the reserve portion of the relevant urine sample. Mr Alford pleaded guilty to the charge before submissions on penalty were heard from HRV Stewards and Mr Alford. In deciding an appropriate penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered the nature of the substance involved, other previous cases involving the substance in Victoria, Mr Alford’s evidence of administering 10 ml of the substance in a therapeutic manner almost 8 full days prior to the relevant race and his expectation that the substance would be eliminated in such a time period, Mr Alford’s early guilty plea and co-operation throughout the investigation, Mr Alford’s excellent record throughout his lifetime involvement in the industry and a number of references supplied in support of Mr Alford’s character. In considering all of these matters, the HRV RAD Board imposed a fine of $3000. The HRV RAD Board also imposed a $200 fine upon Mr Alford after he pleaded guilty to breaching ARHR 190(1)(b) in that he had forgotten to record the relevant administration of phenylbutazone in his log book as the administration occurred late at night after returning from the races on 31 March 2015 and the log book was not present at the time of the administration owing to it being used by another stable member at the time for accounting purposes. The HRV RAD Board also ordered that ‘Stormed Out' be disqualified from Race 5 at Geelong on 8 April 2015 and that the finishing places be amended accordingly. Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board 

Harness racing chiefs are pushing for a new rule to prohibit the administration of alkalising agents for one clear day before a horse races to stamp out the practice of "half-shaking." The move is a precursor to the introduction of far tougher penalties for high bicarb levels and is expected to generate the most debate at the annual conference of racing clubs in Christchurch next month. The remit, recommended by the Racing Integrity Unit and the equine codes' veterinary advisor Dr Andrew Grierson, seeks to amend the current rule which prevents alkalising agents being given on raceday. The "milkshaking" of horses has been a significant threat to the integrity of the industry since its height in the 1990s when unscrupulous trainers loaded their animals up with bicarb to stop the build-up of lactic acid and delay muscle fatigue. But while high levels are rare these days, persistent cheaters have been known to give lower doses, known as "half-shakes". And it had been shown internationally that by prohibiting the administration of alkalising agents on the day prior to the race, the incidence of "half-shaking" is significantly reduced. In most horses, the beneficial effect of a milkshake peaks six hours after administration and the TCO2 level returns to normal after 12 hours.  The rule change is designed to bring New Zealand into line with overseas racing jurisdictions and further enhance stakeholder confidence in the harness industry. Grierson believes now that the TCO2 threshold has been raised to 36 - and trainers aren't prosecuted unless the level is over 37 - the next step is to bring in the one clear day restriction so "there was not a shadow of doubt that breaches signalled "intent". "The previous system wasn't working because we were still getting TCO2 anomalies occurring and the one thing we don't want is to have innocent people being charged." Grierson said the chances of a TCO2 level of 37 being a naturally occurring event were one in two million and, at the actionable level of 37.1, the chances were one in 3.9 million. The stats were one in 5893 million for a level over 38. "A lot of people in the industry believe the JCA shold adopt penalties reflecting those statistical odds," said Grierson who believes the authority is receptive to the call. Grierson said under the present rule it was possible for cheats to shake a horse the night before raceday in the hope its level would still be raised slightly for competition. Ironically, there was no data to support the theory that "half-shaked" horses performed better. Horses with levels of 34-35 did not win more races than those with levels closer to the national mean of 30.6. And the levels of horses who finished in the first five were not higher than the also-rans. "There is no medical justification for treating your horse that close to a race and, if you have to, is your horse suitable to race anyway?" Horseman should have no concern that the rule might impinge on their animals' welfare by preventing traditional treatments when away at a two-day meeting. If a trainer felt a horse who'd raced say on a Friday needed a drench the next day to help it recover for a Sunday race, they could still seek an exemption from a stipendiary steward. The clear move in international circles was to extend the previously accepted no-treatment-on-raceday to one of no treatment for one clear day before racing. Already Australian authorities had moved to make it illegal to administer any cobalt-raising supplement for one clear day before competition. In other remits to go before the conference: ■ It will be an offence for a person to not only acquire, but attempt to acquire, an out-of-competition banned substance. Those substances are the ones for which there is no therapeutic reason for use at any time. ■ Horses injected with corticosteroids in the preceding eight days will be banned not only from racing but also from being trained on a club-run track. While a valuable way of managing inflammatory joint disease, corticosteroids can be undetectable in urine but still having an effect, thereby hiding impending failure and increasing the risk of catastrophic events.   ■ The 30 metre distance stipulation for horses being disqualified if their sulky wheels track inside the marker line will be removed. The rule change seeks to have horses able to be put out if they are deemed to have merely gained an advantage, rather than focusing on the distance covered inside the markers. Judicial committees would have more discretion to deal with individual cases. Horses whose wheels go inside the markers trying to force a run they are not entitled to inside the passing lane could then be disqualified, regardless of distance travelled.  And, on the other hand, horses three back on the markers, who go inside markers but cannot possibly benefit from it, do not have to be automatically put out.    ■ To clarify a rule introduced last year,  the connections of a horse which is interfered with can seek compensation from the owners of  the culprit, but only if its chances of receiving higher stake money are prejudiced. Owners have until 30 minutes after the last race to lodge an information with the stewards who may order that a portion of the stake money earned by the transgressor be paid to the victim. Under the new rules, horses cannot be promoted ahead of those who interfere with them unless it can be proved they would have beaten that runner home without the interference. Barry Lichter

WASHINGTON — Two Congressmen are introducing a bill that would establish uniform drug and medication standards in Thoroughbred racing in 2017. If passed, the legislation would allow the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to create a drug agency specifically for racing — a first for the sport. USADA, an independent agency, is the national anti-doping organization in the U.S. for the Olympics. The Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015 is being presented Thursday by representatives Andy Barr, R-Ky., and Paul Tonko, D-N.Y. They co-chair the Congressional Horse Caucus. The racing industry is regulated on a state-by-state basis with a patchwork of regulations. Supporters of the bill have been trying for years to set uniform rules, drug testing and penalties at tracks nationwide. The bill is supported by the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity. Among those in the coalition are the Breeders' Cup, The Jockey Club, the Humane Society of the United States and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association. The Associated Press

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards today conducted an inquiry into a report received from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory that plasma Total Carbon Dioxide (TCO2) above the prescribed threshold was detected in a pre-race blood sample taken from OUR RED SKY NIGHT NZ prior to it running in race 6, THE GARRARDS HORSE AND HOUND PACE (1609 metres) conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday 7 July 2015. The “B” sample was confirmed by Racing Analytical Services in Victoria. Mr Wardle appeared at the inquiry and presented evidence regarding the training of OUR RED SKY NIGHT NZ and his husbandry practices. Evidence including the Reports of Analysis and expert evidence from Harness Racing NSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr Wainscott was also presented. Mr Wardle was issued with a charge pursuant to Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) for presenting OUR RED SKY NIGHT NZ to race not free of a prohibited substance. Mr Wardle pleaded guilty to that charge. In respect of the charge under Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4), Mr Wardle was disqualified for a period of 3 years 9 months to commence from 10 July 2015, the date upon which he was stood down. Mr Wardle was granted 7 days to attend to the affairs of his stable. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following; This was Mr Wardle’s 2nd offence for Prohibited Substance offences;Class 2 Prohibited Substance;The level of 38.6 mmol/L detected;Mr Wardle’s licence history and other personal subjective facts. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, OUR RED SKY NIGHT NZ was disqualified from the abovementioned race. Reid Sanders - HRNSW  

Racing Queensland (RQ) Stewards today conducted an inquiry into a report from the Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) that a blood sample taken from A Good Chance at the harness racing meeting at Albion Park on 16 May 2015 prior to it competing in the Seymour Nursery Pace 3YO Colts and Geldings Final returned an elevated total plasma carbon dioxide (TCO2) concentration of 36.0 mmol/L. Evidence was today taken from licensed trainer Mr Donny Smith and owner Mrs Maureen Smith. Explanations were tendered regarding feeding and husbandry practices leading up to the race in question. Evidence was also provided by Dr Bruce Young, Manager, Veterinary Services at the RSC. Submissions tendered by Dr Young suggested that an elevated total plasma carbon dioxide concentration will equilibriate within 24 hours. This evidence did not support Mr Smith’s assertion that the elevated level of TCO2 was due to factors such as excitement, dehydration and having a second race start within the week, which Mr Smith identified as the only difference to the horse’s normal racing routine. After considering all the available evidence Stewards issued Mr Smith with a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 193 (3) which reads: “A person shall not administer or allow or cause to be administered any medication to a horse on race day prior to such horse running in a race.” Stewards were mindful of Rule 193 (6) which states: For the purposes of this rule medication means any treatment with drugs or other substances.” The particulars of the charge being that Mr Donny Smith, as the licensed trainer of A Good Chance when it raced at Albion Park on 16 May 2015, did administer or allow or cause to be administered medication, namely an alkalinising agent, to that horse on race day. After considering further submissions, Stewards were of the view that on the balance of probability the charge could be sustained and found Mr Smith guilty of the charge as issued. In determining the matter of guilt Stewards placed significant weight on the expert evidence provided by Dr Young whose opinion is based on peer reviewed scientific research and statistical analysis. This evidence supported the notion that the only credible explanation for the elevated level of TCO2 detected in the blood sample taken from A Good Chance was by way of administration of an alkalinising agent on race day. Stewards also took into consideration the analysis of a resting blood sample taken from A Good Chance on 4 June 2015 which revealed a TCO2 concentration of 27.3 mmol/L, and the fact that all other race day blood samples taken from A Good Chance returned TCO2 levels within the average range. When assessing an appropriate penalty Stewards accepted that the measurement of 36.0 mmol/L and the confirmatory reading of 35.5 mmol/L did not give rise to a positive sample, however a positive result is not required when Stewards consider whether a person is in breach of AHR Rule 193 (3). Mr Smith’s previous unblemished record over an approximate 20 year period, his personal circumstances and penalty precedents for a breach of this rule were also taken into account. Stewards were of the opinion that any penalty imposed must serve as both a specific deterrent and a general deterrent to reflect the seriousness of the charge and to illustrate to the industry that a breach of this nature will not be tolerated. Mr Smith was fined $5000. Acting under AHR Rule 193 (5) A Good ChanceE was disqualified from its 3rd placing in the 2015 Seymour Nursery Pace 3YO Colts and Geldings Final and all other placegetters were amended accordingly. Mr Smith was advised of his rights of appeal. Panel: D Farquharson, K Wolsey, J Dart

The Meadowlands wants to reiterate its stance on putting forth the most integrity-driven product in all of harness racing.   We take blood samples from horses all year long for the purposes of out of competition testing and that practice will continue with our most significant stakes races upon us. In fact, we have taken blood samples from the following horses which will be sent to the labs in Hong Kong, which are unparalleled in their diligence and effectiveness:   1. Dancin Yankee 2. Wakizashi Hanover 3. Artspeak 4. Trading Up 5 .Dealt a Winner 6. Rock N Roll World 7. Lyons Levi Lewis 8. In The Arsenal 9. Wiggle it Jiggle it 10. JL Cruze 11. Opulent Yankee 12. Badiou Hanover 13. Gural Hanover 14. Shake it Cerry 15. Dancin Yankee 16. Father Patrick "It goes without saying that the out of competition testing at The Meadowlands is second to none," said Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural. "I want it to be perfectly clear that our testing continues at a very high level during our most important stakes races. It is important to us that our customers know there is a level playing field for them to wager on all season long, especially when it comes to our marquis events. I want to thank Brice Cote for his tireless efforts in this regard." The Meadowlands plans to continue this testing next week after some of the stakes elimination races have been contested. Sent from my iPhone

Racing Queensland (RQ) Stewards today concluded an inquiry into a report issued from the Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) which stated that a high level of Cobalt was present in the urine sample taken from Jessica Dale prior to it competing in the Rising Stars Championship C0 Final at the harness racing meeting at Albion Park on 20 September 2014. The inquiry commenced on 20 May 2015 and evidence was taken from trainer Ken Belford, who explained his feeding regime and husbandry practices leading up to the race in question. Evidence was also provided by Professor Paul Mills (University of Queensland), Dr Bruce Young (RSC) and Michael O’Connor (legal counsel representative for Mr Belford). Following submissions from M O’Connor, Stewards granted a further adjournment of the inquiry to enable Mr Belford to provide evidence from Dr Robert Kinobe (James Cook University). On 25 June, further submissions were tendered by Michael O’Connor for Mr Belford and evidence was taken from Dr Kinobe. After consideration Mr Ken Belford was charged pursuant to Australian Harness Racing (AHR) Rule 190(1) which reads: “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances” The particulars of the charge being that Mr Belford did present JESSICA DALE for racing at Albion Park on 20 September 2014 when a urine sample taken from the mare prior to it competing in Race 5, the Rising Stars Championship Final, was found, upon analysis, to contain a prohibited substance, namely Cobalt at a mass concentration of 360 ug/L. After considering submissions in defence of the charge, Stewards found Mr Belford in breach of AHR rule 190(1) and reserved their decision regarding penalty to consider personal circumstances and other subjective facts. When determining an appropriate penalty Stewards were of the view that the following points were relevant:   1. Mr Belford has had one prior breach of this rule in a 52 year licence history   2. The level of Cobalt detected in Jessica Dale, being 360 Ug/L   3. The negative impact to the image of Harness Racing and the potential to           undermine the integrity of the sport   4. Need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to illustrate that the non-standard use of this prohibited substance has no place in the harness racing industry   5. Nature of the substance Cobalt and the potential to compromise the health and welfare of Jessica Dale.   6. Personal circumstances of Mr Belford   Having considered the abovementioned points, Stewards ruled that the imposition of an 18 month disqualification was appropriate. This penalty will take effect from midnight Friday, 3 July 2015.   Acting under the provisions of AHR Rule 195, Jessica Dale was disqualified from its 3rd placing at Albion Park on 20 September 2014, and all other placegetters were amended accordingly.   Mr Belford was advised of his rights of appeal.   Panel: D Farquharson, A Reardon & D Aurisch  

Harness Racing Stewards have issued a charge against licensed trainer Mr Chris Alford under Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 190 (1) which provides: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances It is alleged that the horse Stormed Out was presented to race at Geelong on 8 April 2015 by Mr Alford whilst not free of the prohibited substance phenylbutazone and its metabolite oxyphenbutazone. HRV Stewards have issued a further charge under ARHR 190B(1)(b) which requires trainers to keep and maintain a log book recording all treatment administered to horses in their care. The charges will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed.                                                        AND HRV Stewards have issued a charge against licensed NSW trainer Mr Michael Day (Jnr) under Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 190 (1) which provides: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. It is alleged that the horse Fake Art was presented to race at Cobram on 7 May 2015 whilst not free of alkalinizing agents, a prohibited substance when evidenced by the presence of total carbon dioxide (TCO2) at a concentration in excess of 36 millimoles per litre in plasma. The charge will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed. Harness Racing Victoria

Racing Queensland Stewards today concluded an inquiry into the analyst’s findings that high levels of Cobalt were detected in urine samples obtained from Ohoka Mach(NZ) – (1100 ug/L) following its win at the harness racing meeting at Redcliffe on 30 April 2014 and Mister Manhattan (NZ) – (630 ug/L) following its win at the harness racing meeting at Redcliffe on 6 September 2014. Trainer Trevor Lambourn gave evidence today relating to his feeding and husbandry practices leading up to the races in question. Stewards considered submissions from Mr Lambourn’s legal counsel Mr Michael O’Connor. Evidence was also taken from Professor Paul Mills (University of Queensland), Dr Robert Kenobi (James Cook University) and Dr Bruce Young from the Queensland Government Racing Science Centre. After consideration the following charges were issued in breach of Rule 190(1) which reads: “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.” Charge 1 – that Mr Lambourn presented Ohoka Mach (NZ) for racing at Redcliffe on 30 April 2014 when a sample taken from that horse was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance Cobalt.   Charge 2 – that Mr Lambourn presented Mister Manhattan (NZ) for racing at Redcliffe on 6 September 2014 when a sample taken from that horse was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance Cobalt. Mr Lambourn pleaded not guilty to both charges as issued. After consideration of further submissions Stewards were of the view that both charges could be sustained and found Mr Lambourn guilty. Submissions were tendered in relation to penalty and after consideration the following penalties were issued: Charge 1 – three (3) years disqualification Charge 2 – three (3) years disqualification   Stewards directed that both terms of disqualification be served concurrently. Acting under AHR 195 Ohoka Mach(NZ) was disqualified from its 1st placing at Redcliffe on 30 April 2014 and Mister Manharran(NZ) was disqualified from its 1st placing at Redcliffe on 6 September 2014 and all other placegetters were amended accordingly. Mr Lambourn was advised of his rights of appeal. Panel:  David Farquharson, Allan Reardon, Daniel Aurisch

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