Trainers Charged Over Cobalt

11
Jun

Racing Victoria stewards have laid the first charges arising from a long-running investigation surrounding the use of cobalt in four Victorian stables.

The Peter Moody, Mark Kavanagh, Danny O’Brien and  Lee and Shannon Hope stables all became the subject of investigations arising from elevated levels of cobalt returned by some of their runners in 2014.

Racing Victoria introduced an allowable threshold of 200 micrograms per litre of urine in April last year. Some of the readings recorded were more than double the allowed cobalt limit.

The table below indicates the trainer, horse and the cobalt readings they returned.

Trainer

Horse

Race – Track

Date – Placing

Chem Centre reading

HKJC reading

Danny O’Brien

Caravan Rolls On

Lexus Stakes – Flemington

1/1/14 – 8th

350 micrograms per litre (ug/L)

380 micrograms per litre (ug/L)

Danny O’Brien

Bondeiger

Victoria Derby – Flemington

1/1/14 – 2nd

330ug/L

370ug/L

Danny O’Brien

De Little Engine

People@Work Handicap – Ballarat

22/11/14 – 1st

550ug/L

580ug/L

Danny O’Brien

Bullpit

Jeep 55sec Challenge – Moonee Valley

19/12/14 – 1st

300ug/L

320ug/L

Mark Kavanagh

Magicool

UCI Stakes – Flemington

4/10/14 – 1st

640ug/L

670ug/L

Lee and Shannon Hope

Windy Citi Bear

3YO BM78 Handicap – Geelong

25/6/14 – 5th

290ug/L

300ug/L

Lee and Shannon Hope

Best Suggestion

Sportingbet Handicap – Caulfield

5/7/14 – 8th

510ug/L

550ug/L

Lee and Shannon Hope

Choose

Citiopera Handicap – Caulfield

28/9/14 – 5th

450ug/L

440ug/L

Stewards laid 29 charges, of which 21 are alternative charges, against Hope Racing, Kavanagh and O’Brien as well as another 20 (15 alternative) against vet Dr Tom Brennan, who featured in a volatile Racing NSW inquiry into positive swabs from the Sam Kavanagh-trained Midsummer Sun earlier this week.

The charges against Hope Racing, Kavanagh and O’Brien are as follows:

“1. Australian Rule of Racing (AR) 175(h)(i) – that they administered, or caused to be administered, the prohibited substance cobalt for the purpose of affecting the performance of the horse in a race;

2. AR 175(h)(ii) – that they administered, or caused to be administered, the prohibited substance cobalt which was detected in a sample taken from the horse prior to or following its race;

3. AR 178 – that they brought the horse to race with the prohibited substance cobalt in its system.”

O’Brien and Kavanagh were also charged with a fourth alternative count in respect of each of the horses’ samples:

4. AR 175(k) – that their conduct or negligence led to, or could have led to, a breach of the Rules by Dr Brennan himself administering or causing to be administered a prohibited substance to the horse.

Brennan, a partner in the Flemington Equine Clinic that was engaged by Kavanagh and O’Brien, will face the following charges.

“1. AR 175(h)(i) – that he administered, or caused to be administered, the prohibited substance cobalt for the purpose of affecting the performance of the horse in a race;

2. AR 175(h)(ii) – that he administered, or caused to be administered, the prohibited substance cobalt which was detected in a sample taken from the horse;

3. AR 175(k) – that Dr Brennan’s conduct led, or could have led, to a breach of the prohibited substance Rules in that he supplied or caused to be supplied to Mr O’Brien/Mr Kavanagh a substance containing a high level of cobalt for the purpose of administration to horses trained by Mr O’Brien/Mr Kavanagh;

4. AR 175(l) – that Dr Brennan connived at, or was a party to, Mr O’Brien/Mr Kavanagh committing a breach of the prohibited substance Rules in that he supplied or caused to be supplied to Mr O’Brien/Mr Kavanagh a substance containing a high level of cobalt for the purpose of administration to horses trained by Mr O’Brien/Mr Kavanagh.”

All charged parties will appear before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on a date to be fixed.

RV’s Executive General Manager – Integrity Services Dayle Brown said the investigations have been of an “exhaustive and complex” nature.

“During the course of the investigations we have collected a considerable amount of evidence and have undertaken extensive forensic analysis and testing,” Brown said.

“Each of the five people charged will have the opportunity to defend these charges before the independent RAD Board and we hope that this can occur at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Click here to get an update on the status of the Peter Moody investigation.

www.racenet.com.au

Brad Waters