Pos­i­tive cobalt swabs stun top har­ness trainer

The New Zealand Herald - - RACING - Michael Guerin

Lead­ing har­ness trainer Cran Dal­gety says he will fight to de­fend his name if needed af­ter two of his sta­ble re­turned pos­i­tive swabs to cobalt.

Dal­gety was left feel­ing sick to his stom­ach af­ter Fatima Siad at Ti­maru on Novem­ber 19 and Rauka­puka Ruler at Ad­ding­ton on De­cem­ber 16 re­turned un­ac­cept­ably high lev­els of cobalt.

Dal­gety was in­formed of the pos­i­tives on Tues­day and said while he is re­signed to his two horses be­ing dis­qual­i­fied from their wins, he will de­fend his rep­u­ta­tion should any charges of ad­min­is­tra­tion be laid against him. “To be point blank hon­est about it, any­body who thinks I would give a horse some­thing il­le­gal to win a race at Ti­maru is crazy and I would be crazy to do it.

“I wouldn’t jeop­ar­dise my ca­reer for a race where the trainer’s per­cent­age would hardly buy my fam­ily a din­ner out. That’s just ridicu­lous.

“All I can put it down to is we have changed some of our feeds re­cently and they, like a lot of feeds, have trace el­e­ments of cobalt in them.

“I am hop­ing the RIU [Racing In­tegrity Unit] in­ves­ti­ga­tions will show that but I won’t be get­ting into a big le­gal bat­tle with them.

“The facts are the facts and I know we never use any­thing in­ap­pro­pri­ate on the horses so I don’t want to get into a big le­gal stoush over it.

“So hope­fully the right things hap­pen be­cause if some­thing like this ended up in me get­ting time that would be the end of my ca­reer, which would be ridicu­lous. But while I am gut­ted at what has hap­pened, my con­science is clear.”

South­ern trainer Shane Walkin­shaw was found to have not com­mit­ted any wrong­do­ing last year when a cobalt pos­i­tive re­turned by one of his run­ners was found to have been caused by con­tam­i­nated feed.

Dal­gety is a far big­ger name in the racing in­dus­try, as not only a premier­ship win­ner but the trainer of $2.4 mil­lion earner Chris­ten Me.

RIU boss Mike God­ber told the Her­ald his in­spec­tors had taken sam­ples of food and sup­ple­ments from Dal­gety’s sta­ble and the analysis of those prod­ucts would be cru­cial to the next step in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“Cran’s other horses had been re­turn­ing higher than usual cobalt read­ings for a few weeks so we need to see if his change in feed­ing and sup­ple­ments used was the cause of that. That won’t be a quick process but that is the next step in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

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