Cobalt scandal spreads
THE two Queensland trainers most recently embroiled in racing’s cobalt doping scandal have protested their innocence and will fight to clear their names.
Toowoomba thoroughbred trainer Rochelle Smith will face a stewards’ inquiry next week after two horses in her care tested positive to cobalt.
The Smith- trained Vimzig returned a positive cobalt sample after winning a race at Too- woomba on May 16, and stablemate Grey Countess also returned a cobalt reading above the threshold after finishing second in a race at the Gold Coast on May 30.
One of the state’s biggest harness racing names, Darrel
I’ve had 130 winners for the season and all of a sudden one of these come up MAFUTA VAUTIN TRAINER DARREL GRAHAM
Graham, also faces an inquiry next month after his horse Mafuta Vautin returned a positive cobalt reading after winning the Group 2 Qbred Triad 4YO Entires & Geldings Final at Albion Park on May 30.
All three positive samples were recorded well after the 200 microgram per litre of urine national cobalt threshold was introduced for both codes.
News Corp can also reveal there has been a further cobalt irregularity recorded in Queensland harness racing.
The trainer involved has been notified but RQ stewards are waiting on secondary test results before laying any possible charges.
Graham, third in the statewide trainers’ premiership this season, with his horses earning more than $ 643,000 in prizemoney in 2014- 15, said he was stunned by the results.
“I’m completely bamboozled. I’ve had 130 winners for the season and all of a sudden one of these come up,” said Graham, currently in America.
“The horse was a ($ 1.40) favourite and we own the horse ourselves and he drew one and if you have a look at the horse’s performances he has had ( 18 starts and won 12).”
Smith also pleaded her innocence yesterday.
“I’ve done some research into numerous supplements that we use that contain levels of cobalt, so that’s the avenue I’m investigating,” she said.
“I’m blown away, especially at the levels of one of them.”