Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy defends the cobalt saga investigation   Leave a comment

Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy defends the cobalt saga investigation

Chief Steward Ray Murrihy

Chief Steward Ray Murrihy Source: News Limited

RACING NSW’s chief steward Ray Murrihy has declared the controversial and damaging cobalt saga the most complex and time-consuming investigation of his career.

Murrihy has defended the stewards investigation amid criticism it has been dragging out for many months.

Trainer Kevin Moses is the latest name to be linked to the drama after it was revealed one of his horses, Felix Bay, has returned an irregularity, believed to be cobalt. Stewards are waiting for B-sample test results before determining their course of action.

Sam Kavanagh already faces a number of charges after Midsummer Sun’s positive to cobalt and caffeine earlier this year, and there are Victorian trainers also under stewards investigation.

Midsummer Sun in action at the 2014 Gosford Quarries Gosford Gold Cup. .

Midsummer Sun in action at the 2014 Gosford Quarries Gosford Gold Cup. . Source: Supplied

But Murrihy said the cobalt case has demonstrated the efficiencies of thoroughbred racing’s investigative units and drug-testing procedures.

Unlike the live-baiting scandal in the greyhound code which was uncovered by the Four Corners television program it has been racing’s stewards and forensic analysts which has discovered the illegal use of cobalt.

“The point is it has been the regulatory forces of racing that have gone out there and uncovered this issue and not an expose by an investigative team embarrassing racing,’’Murrihy said. “We are dealing with the issue.’’

Murrihy has been a steward for more than 40 years and conceded the cobalt investigation has been the most complex case he has been involved with during his career.

Chief steward Ray Murrihy at the stewards inquiry at Scone..

Chief steward Ray Murrihy at the stewards inquiry at Scone.. Source: News Corp Australia

“I would say there has been other cases with more public interest like the More Joyous case,’’ Murrihy said.

“But I feel the sheer scale of this investigation is something again and racing will be judged by how we deal with this matter. This is the platform to ensure confidence in the industry.

“I think most of the participants and punters understand there will always be challenges in this industry. There has been things like timolol, etorphine, trenbolone, steroid implants and others over the years.

“But we are determined to get to the bottom of this and find out where this product is being supplied from and how far-reaching this is in the racing industry.’’

Murrihy said he expects further developments on the cobalt investigations later this week.

***

WE mentioned last week about the unfortunate coincidence of leading owner-breeder John Camilleri sharing the same name as the person being questioned by Racing NSW stewards as part of the Sam Kavanagh investigation.

On a similar theme, spare a thought for Scone trainer Greg Bennett, one of the thoroughbred code’s leading country-based trainers and famous as the man who broke in three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva.

But there is another Greg Bennett, the harness racing trainer-driver who last week was disqualified for seven years for refusing to answer stewards questions regarding the “green light” scandal.

This has caused understandable confusion and embarrassment for the thoroughbred trainer.

“A mate said I should go by the name of Gregory Bennett,’’ the Scone trainer said.

“But I’ve been Greg Bennett for 57 years and I’m not about to change now.’’

***

CHRIS Wallerhad an audience with Queen Elizabeth II when he was at Royal Ascot last week.

“I was extremely nervous before meeting the Queen,’’ Waller said.

“But she made me feel at ease and we spoke for about 10 minutes. She is very knowledgeable about our racing.’’

Trainer Chris Waller (left).

Trainer Chris Waller (left). Source: News Corp Australia

Waller prepared a horse previously owned by the Queen, My Kingdom Of Fife to win the Randwick Group 1 weight-for-age race named in her honour during the 2011 autumn carnival.

“The Queen said she followed My Kingdom Of Fife when he raced here,’’ Waller added.

Waller returns to England next Sunday to finetune Brazen Beau’s preparation for his final career start the Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket.

***

IT was “Ladies Day” at Rosehill Gardens with trainers Amanda Turner (Intrepid Way) and Kristen Buchanan (Two Blue) celebrating wins.

But Winona Costin stole the show with her first Saturday city treble on Intrepid Way, Queen Of Kariba and Beauty’s Beast.

Winona Costin rides Beauty's Beast to win The Perfection Fresh Handicap.

Winona Costin rides Beauty’s Beast to win The Perfection Fresh Handicap. Source: Getty Images

Costin has ridden 39 Sydney winners for the season and with the apprentices premiership secure, she has set her sights on breaking the 50-win barrier before the end of July, which would put her in elite company.

In the last two decades, only three apprentices have managed to ride 50 or more Sydney winners in a season — Hugh Bowman (1999-2000), Tye Angland (2006-07) and tommy Berry (2009-10)

SATURDAY SNAPSHOT — ROSEHILL GARDENS

RUN OF THE DAY

Berry Delicious was on the quick back-up after winning on a heavy 10 at Randwick but she was even better at Rosehill. This promising filly gave a start and a beating to older mares. She is up to stakes grade.

FORGET IT RAN

Lockroy, Well Hardley Ever and Kipling didn’t handle the surprisingly heavy track at Rosehill and were the last three to finish behind Queen Of Kariba. The trio ran well below their efforts at the same track two weeks ago when they ran the trifecta over the same distance but on a firmer race surface.

Winona Costin rides Queen of Kariba to win The Quilton Sprint.

Winona Costin rides Queen of Kariba to win The Quilton Sprint. Source: Getty Images

THE BLACK BOOK

Echo Gal had her chance but first-up in the heavy conditions told late before her fourth in Queen Kariba’s race. It was a similar tale with Coolring who hit the line nicely when fifth to Two Blue. With improved race fitness, Echo Gal and Coolring are horses to follow this winter.

RIDE OF THE DAY

Kerrin McEvoy is poetry in motion on leaders, particularly in distance races. He is a great judge of pace and his efforts on Maurus and Kapour were textbook stuff. You won’t see a better losing ride than Blake Shinn’s on It’s About You. Shinn took all the shortcuts and got the favourite into the right part of the going in the straight but Kiseki Dane was simply too strong at the end of 1900m.

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Posted June 29, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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