Lidari’s suspect feet ultimately led to the import becoming embroiled in the high-profile cobalt case involving his trainer Peter Moody.
Lidari produced a reading of 410 micrograms per litre of urine when he ran second in the Group I Turnbull Stakes in October last year.
Moody is facing two charges relating to the administration of cobalt to the horse and another of presenting the horse to race with an elevated level of cobalt in his system.
Lidari arrived at Moody’s stable in January 2013 but had brittle feet, which required treatment with a product called Availa-4, which is advertised as containing organic zinc, manganese, copper and cobalt.
Availa-4 is said to help a large number of equine issues, including “skin and hoof integrity” as well as muscle development, fibre digestion and energy metabolism.
Moody’s Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board case began on Monday with expert evidence from expert witness Dr Martin Wainscott, who worked on cobalt cases when working for Harness Racing New South Wales.
Moody’s counsel Matthew Stirling told the RAD Board that Racing Victoria stewards “got it wrong” when conducting administration trials designed to copy Moody’s routine of giving Lidari the supplement that contained cobalt.
However, Stirling told the RAD Board the trials were incorrectly conducted because the five horses were given an average dose of 9.7 grams of cobalt when the average dose of a 30ml scoop is 18.5 grams.
Stirling also said a mix-up between two employees in charge of the feeding at Moody’s stable might have also led to Lidari’s elevated reading.
Stirling told the RAD Board one employee gave Lidari two scoops of Availa-4 in the morning and another in the afternoon, which he said led to the horse getting 100 milligrams of cobalt per day, almost 10 times more than what was administered in the stewards’ controlled trials.
The case will continue on Wednesday afternoon.