Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) conducted an inquiry yesterday into a report received from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory that Chlorpheniramine and Desmethyl Chlorpheniramine were detected in the urine sample taken from ILLAWONG ARMSTRONG following race 7, the BULLI HRC NSW TROTTERS DERBY (GROUP 1) (2400 metres) conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday 30 May 2015. Ms Quinlan appeared at the inquiry and on submission Stewards permitted representation by Mr Hammond, a solicitor. Evidence including the Reports of Analysis and expert evidence from HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr Don Colantonio were presented. Evidence was also taken from Ms Quinlan regarding the training of ILLAWONG ARMSTRONG, her husbandry practices and circumstances leading up to the race. Mr Hammond provided evidence from veterinarian, Dr Andrew Clarke, on behalf of Ms Quinlan. Ms Quinlan pleaded guilty to a charge pursuant to Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) for presenting ILLAWONG ARMSTRONG to race not free of a prohibited substance. Ms Quinlan was disqualified for a period of 3 months to commence immediately. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following; This was Ms Quinlan’s 1st offence for a Prohibited Substance;Ms Quinlan’s guilty plea;Class 3 Prohibited Substance;Ms Quinlan’s unblemished disciplinary record in twenty-five years as a licensed person and other personal subjective facts, including ambassadorial roles. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, ILLAWONG ARMSTRONG was disqualified from the abovementioned race. The race in question Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 31 racing clubs across the State. HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government.
Victorian Harness Racing participants are reminded of the provisions of the Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 194 which provides: A person who procures or attempts to procure or who has in his possession or on his premises or under his control any substance or preparation that has not been registered, labelled, prescribed, dispensed or obtained in compliance with relevant State and Commonwealth legislation is guilty of an offence. Participants are encouraged to exercise extreme caution with respect to the possession and use of supplementary products upon their horses. No product should be purchased or used without seeking appropriate veterinary guidance to ensure that the product is necessary, registered, labelled, prescribed, dispensed or obtained in compliance with the law. Participants are warned against purchasing or using any product that does not have a label listing all active constituents. Participants are also warned about purchasing or using any product from sources of unknown repute. The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is the Australian government authority responsible for the assessment and registration of pesticides and veterinary medicines. The APVMA have a publicly available database which can be used to check whether products that claim to be veterinary products are registered. It can be found here: https://portal.apvma.gov.au/pubcris In addition to checking with their veterinarian, participants may also contact the APVMA directly or the HRV Integrity Department regarding any queries they have regarding a particular product or substance. Harness Racing Victoria
The vet allegedly at the centre of the cobalt crisis gripping Australian racing is set for a Supreme Court showdown with Racing NSW to prevent the governing body from publicising any potential charges against him. A matter involving Dr Adam Matthews, the former Flemington Equine vet, was mentioned in the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday in another twist to the cobalt saga. The vet's lawyer Nicole Spicer declined to comment on the matter, but Fairfax Media understands Matthews is seeking to prevent stewards releasing any charges possibly brought against him into the public domain. To read the full article written by Adam Pengilly in the Sydney Morning Herald click on this link.
Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) 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 PRECIOUS M NZ prior to race 6, the DUBBO HARNESS RACING CLUB AWARDS 25TH SEPT PACE (2120 metres) conducted at Dubbo on Sunday 13 September 2015. Mr Peter Reynolds appeared at the inquiry. Evidence including the Reports of Analysis was presented to the Inquiry. Evidence was also taken from Mr Reynolds regarding the training of PRECIOUS M NZ, his husbandry practices and circumstances preceding the race. Evidence was also presented to the Inquiry by veterinarian Dr Don Crosby on behalf of Mr Reynolds and the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory Science Manager, Dr Adam Cawley. Mr Reynolds was issued with a charge pursuant to Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) for presenting PRECIOUS M NZ to race not free of a prohibited substance. He pleaded not guilty to the charge. The Stewards found the charge laid against Mr Reynolds to be proven. In determining the charge against Mr Reynolds, Stewards relied upon Australian Harness Racing Rules 191 (1) & (3) as the second certificate from Racing Analytical Services LTD reported a plasma Total Carbon Dioxide (TCO2) level of 36.6 mmol/L. Mr Reynolds was disqualified for a period of 15 months to commence from 18 September 2015 the date upon which he was stood down. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following; This was Mr Reynolds 1st offence for a Prohibited Substance; Class 2 Prohibited Substance; Mr Reynold’s licence history and other personal subjective facts. The fact that this charge was based upon prima facie evidence in relation to the first certificate issued by the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, PRECIOUS M NZ was disqualified from the abovementioned race. Reid Sanders
The Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) has advised HRNSW that Chlorpheniramine and Desmethyl Chlorpheniramine have been detected in the urine sample taken from Illawong Armstrong following race 7, the Bulli HRC NSW Trotters Derby (GROUP 1) (2400 metres) conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday 30 May 2015. The “B” sample has been confirmed by Racing Analytical Services LTD (RASL) in Victoria. Trainer Ms J. Quinlan has been advised. An Inquiry has been scheduled for 11am on Wednesday 30 September 2015. Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 31 racing clubs across the State. HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government. Reid Sanders
HRSA Stewards finalised an inquiry into a report received from Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) that a pre race blood sample taken from Livingisfun prior to Race 2, Arclight Photography Claiming Pace, at Globe Derby on 8 August 2015, that upon analysis reported the presence of total plasma carbon dioxide (TCO2) greater than the 36mmol/L threshold. The ‘B’ sample was sent to the Chem Centre in WA which reported the presence of TCO2 at the threshold level. Evidence was taken from Mr. Shane Loone regarding this feeding and husbandry practices and Mr. Paul Zahra, Scientific Manager from RASL. Mr. Zahra provided evidence on the degradation of the TCO2 concentration of ‘B’ samples. Mr. Loone was charged under Rule 190(1), (2) & (4), that as the licenced trainer of LIVINGISFUN he did present that horse to race at Globe Derby on 8 August 2015 when not free of a prohibited substance. In determining the matter of guilt Stewards placed significant weight on the expert evidence provided by Mr. Zahra whose opinion is based on peer reviewed scientific research and statistical analysis. Stewards also took into account the previously recorded TCO2 levels of Livingisfun whilst under the care of Mr. Loone and the TCO2 levels under the care of other trainers, that this case was a prima facie matter, Mr. Loone’s previous record and his personal circumstances. Mr. Loone was disqualified for 9 months effective immediately. Mr. Loone has lodged an appeal and has been granted a stay of proceedings. Barbara Scott, Chair of Stewards
On Wednesday 2 September 2015, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an Inquiry into an investigation that commenced on Monday 17 August 2015, following the scratching of Heavenly Shades from the Newcastle Harness meeting on that date after a needle mark was observed on the neck of that horse during a stable inspection. Licensed Trainer, Mr Bruce Birch appeared at the Inquiry and provided evidence. Evidence of HRNSW Investigator/Steward Mr Chris Paul was also presented to the Inquiry. Mr. Birch pleaded guilty to a charge under Rule 196B (1), (2) & (3) in that he administered an injection to the registered standardbred HEAVENLY SHADES on Sunday 16 August 2015, within one clear day of the commencement of a race for which that horse was nominated. Mr Birch was disqualified for a period of 5 months to commence immediately. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following: * Seriousness of the offence * Mr Birch’s early admission and guilty plea. * The fact that this Rule was only recently introduced * Mr Birch’s licence history and other personal subjective facts, including personal hardship. Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 196B(1), (2) & (3) provide: (1) A person shall not within one (1) clear day of the commencement of a race administer or cause to be administered an injection to a horse nominated for that race. (2) For the purposes of this Rule, one (1) clear day means the twenty four (24) hour period from 12.01 a.m. to 12 midnight. (3) A person who fails to comply with Sub-rule 1) is guilty of an offence. Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 31 racing clubs across the State. HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government. Reid Sanders
The Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC) heard an update on the status of the cobalt study being conducted by the OSCR, The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Ohio Department of Agriculture's (ODA) Analytical Toxicology Laboratory (ATL), at its monthly meeting at 77 S. High St., Columbus, Ohio on Aug. 25. Dr. James Robertson, OSRC consulting veterinarian, offered comments and insight on the OSRC-funded Cobalt research. "The Ohio State University has acquired five Standardbred horses for the pilot study and they are currently in a routine quarantine," Dr. Robertson explained. "Once that is completed, the study will begin and take about eight weeks to complete." Dr. Robertson stated that the goals for this pilot study are as follows: one, to investigate the pharmacology of different doses of IV cobalt chloride on healthy horses; two, to associate cobalt doses with blood and urinary cobalt concentrations over time; and three, to determine how cobalt chloride affects various body systems (cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular and hematopoietic) When OSRC Chairman Robert K. Schmitz asked about the recently announced United States Trotting Association (USTA)-funded cobalt study, Dr. Robertson first responded that it was regrettable that the research data of the previous USTA-funded Cobalt study in 2014 was never published or made available for peer review. "Based on the dose-response data collected from the pilot study, we intend to do a series of larger studies to examine all aspects of the effects of cobalt in the horse, including its effects on performance," said Dr. Robertson. "The OSRC, OSU and ATL have the financial, physical and intellectual resources to plan and execute the most comprehensive series of cobalt studies to date. The USTA announcement that they will fund a study to evaluate the effects of cobalt in an exercise physiology model will not change our research plans." Kimberly Rinker
Thoroughbred trainer Sam Kavanagh, whose licence was suspended in May after the former Sir Henry Cecil-trained Midsummer Sun tested positive for the banned substance cobalt, has been found guilty on 23 of the 24 charges in an investigation into cobalt and caffeine breaches by Racing New South Wales stewards. The Kavanagh-trained Midsummer Sun returned a positive pre-race swab to both substances when winning the Gosford Cup in January and investigations found an extensive use of a "Vitamin Complex" which contained excessive levels of cobalt. Kavanagh, whose Melbourne Cup-winning father Mark is also under investigation by Racing Victoria for cobalt offences, was among six men charged with 54 breaches by Racing New South Wales stewards. The investigations also unearthed that other horses in his yard had been treated with cobalt, and he has also been charged over positive results by Centre Pivot and Spinning Diamond. Kavanagh was found not guilty over the charge of administering caffeine to Midsummer Sun. Lengthy disqualification The trainer now has until September 10 to make submissions on penalties which will be considered by the panel but it looks likely he will face a lengthy disqualification from the sport. The result of the investigation, which was accompanied by detailed written reasons from the stewards as to their findings which is not usual practice in Australia, comes just ten days after trainer Kevin Moses was handed a 12-month ban for presenting a horse to race with cobalt in its system. Along with Kavanagh, Dr Tom Brennan of the Flemington Equine Clinic was found guilty of 12 charges, along with his colleague Adam Corby being found guilty of one of two charges. Former Kavanagh stable employee Michael O'Loughlin was found guilty of four charges. Others to be found guilty include disqualified harness racing trainer Mitchell Butterfield on all five charges he faced, while John Camilleri was found guilty of six of seven charges. Racing rocked Australian racing has this year been rocked by the scandal involving cobalt, which can assist in generating more red blood cells to carry oxygen through the body and thus allow a horse to perform at a peak level for longer. Peter Moody, Danny O'Brien, Mark Kavanagh and the father-son team of Lee And Shannon Hope are other trainers facing charges relating to cobalt in one of the most dramatic investigations in Australian racing history. By Lewis Porteous Reprinted with permission of the Racing Post
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