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Top Line Trainers Face Ban for Elevated Levels of Cobalt

Top Melbourne trainers Peter Moody, Mark Cavanagh and Danny O’Brien have been provided with notices from Racing Victoria in relation to horses that ran in the Spring Carnival last year. The horses have tested positive to elevated levels of cobalt which is a performance enhancing ingredient if it is provided over accepted levels.

Cobalt does occur naturally in certain horse feeds and supplements but if the levels exceed 200 micrograms per litre, the trainers could face a lengthy disqualification.

Peter Moody, famous as the trainer of champion race mare Black Caviar, has issued a statement saying that he is shocked by the news and will cooperate with stewards to clear his name. His horse Lidari ran second in a feature race in the Spring Carnival and it is this horse which returned the positive test. Magicool trained by Mark Cavanagh won the UCI Stakes at Flemington on October 1 2014. The horses trained by Danny O’Brien were Caravan Rolls On, Victoria Derby runner up Bondeiger at Flemington on November 1 and De Little Engine who won at Ballarat on November 23.

A NSW trainer, Darren Smith is currently making submissions in relation to the existence of cobalt in relation to one of his horses to Racing NSW stewards.

It does seem odd that 3 high profile trainers with excellent records for many years have suddenly registered these readings. However, it appears that the trainers were forewarned of the stewards’ attitude in relation to the levels of cobalt leading up to the Spring Carnival and clear directions were provided. It remains to be seen from the investigations as to the explanation for the existence of the cobalt in the respective horses and no doubt the trainers’ feeding systems and supplements provided will be closely scrutinised.

This investigation highlights the importance of trainers keeping accurate records of all feed and supplements that are provided to the horses under their care, including amounts, brands and any other relevant information. Having good systems in place with appropriate advice from vets and other nutrition experts would also assist in ensuring that the trainer has gone to all reasonable lengths to ensure that he is complying with the various requirements set out by Racing Victoria.

If any trainers have received similar notices from the stewards in any of the states of Australia, please do not hesitate to contact our office for assistance and advice. Please telephone Amanda Heather on direct line 07 5506 8245, email aheather@attwoodmarshall.com.au or freecall 1800 621 071. Often we offer a free 20 minute consultation either personally or by telephone to our thoroughbred racing and breeding clients.

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Jeff Garrett

Jeff Garrett

  • Legal Practice Director
  • Direct line: 07 5506 8201
  • Mobile: 0419 304 174