More cobalt charges likely   Leave a comment

More cobalt charges likely

Cobalt will be back in the spotlight this week as a high-profile investigation edges towards a conclusion, with more charges likely.

Trainer Peter Moody has not been charged with any rule breaches involving cobalt, but the outcome of testing is imminent.

The results will determine the path Racing Victoria stewards will take in the next fortnight.

Racing NSW stewards, confronted with a fresh case involving a high concentration of cobalt in a sample returned by the Kevin Moses-trained Felix Bay in April at Hawkesbury, will review the extensive evidence taken during the recent hearing surrounding embattled trainer Sam Kavanagh.

Admissions of race-day treatment and allegations of experimentation with xenon gas could lead to new charges.

Kavanagh has already had charges levelled but testimony regarding the practices of staff at a veterinary clinic, as well as a disgraced harness racing figure, will keep Racing NSW stewards busy.

Not that you could accuse them of having a slack period in the past 15 months.

The cobalt case that got things started for chief steward Ray Murrihy — the Darren Smith case — is up for appeal in the NSW Supreme Court next month.

Four months after receiving a 15-year disqualification — found guilty of 42 charges relating to cobalt use in March — Smith is looking forward to his fast-approaching day in court.

The Racing Appeals Board dismissed his appeal in April, but Smith is due to appear in the NSW Supreme Court on July 12 to appeal the ban.

The first Australian thoroughbred trainer to be punished in relation to cobalt, Smith had his stables inspected last May and was stood down pending a long-running investigation. Smith is both surprised and annoyed that stewards in NSW have not charged more licensed persons.

“There are others. They were waiting until they dealt with me,’’ Smith said. “They dealt with me. I got 15 years.

“Apart from me Paul Murray is under investigation and then there is Sam Kavanagh, but there are others.

“There is an owner down your way (Victoria) that has a positive to cobalt from a race one of his horses won up here.

‘’It frustrates me that I cannot have runners or go to the races while others are going about their business.’’

Murrihy told The Australian that stewards have done what they said they would do and are waiting until dealing with Smith’s appeal before hearing other cases that predate the national rule that came into effect on January 1.

While that rule established an accepted threshold level, Smith was charged and found guilty on the basis cobalt had previously been a prohibited substance.

‘’There were 20 horses involved. He brought the industry into disrepute and has forfeited the right to pontificate,’’ Murrihy said.

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Posted June 29, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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