Remember Alligator Blood?
Of course, you do even though the horse has not run for seven months.
The then David Vandyke trained son of All Too Hard won ten of his first eleven starts including the Listed Gold Edition, three Group 3’s (in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude, the Vo Rogue and the C S Hayes) and a Group 1 in the Australian Guineas … and, of course, the Magic Millions Three-Year-old Guineas, a race win which was going to come back to haunt his connections.
Alligator Blood was ultimately disqualified from the $2 million Magic Millions Guineas on the grounds that he returned a positive swab for Altrenogest, a prohibitive substance in male horses under the Australian Rules of Racing.
At the time of the disqualification announcement, back in July 2020, Allan Endresz, one of Alligator Blood’s owners, indicated he would not let the matter rest and that he would be heading to the Supreme Court in an effort to have that disqualification ruling overturned.
Endresz has now released a podcast on social media in which he details the steps currently being taken in terms of that promised legal challenge, which has now been launched.
This is what Endresz had to say in that podcast.
“Al (Alligator Blood) and I had a bit of a pact going back to July 23, 2020,” said Endresz. “You may recall the dramas and circumstances that happened as a result on that day … it was the day when the racing stewards of Queensland had officially disqualified Al from his Magic Millions Three-Year-Old Guineas win.
“That was a victory that he won, which we were all pumped and excited … only to be deflated that he had shown a positive swab. Altrenogest is a non-performance enhancing drug and it would have no impact in terms of his racing on that day.
“So, I had a pact with Al that we wouldn’t let this rest … After 309 days of intensive research and building a formidable legal team … on Friday we formally dropped the bombshell and have attacked the disqualification, purely on legal grounds.
“Those grounds are that we are seeking a declaration that the purported disqualification by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission of Alligator Blood on July 23 as a result of that race is simple void and of no effect.
“It relates to the Ezybonds No 1 ownership contract, of which I am the syndicate manager as trustee. As a result of that contract there is terms of implied natural justice of which nothing occurred as a result of the decision made by the stewards.
“Certainly, the stewards had an inquiry. They had due process for the trainer and the trainer was fined … but both horse and the owners were left high and dry with no recourse and no hearings in relation to what has transpired.
“We are very strong on our position. We taken a lot of research, I might say … and learning from those lessons, we are not concerned at all in terms of the drug itself, but what we are challenging is the right for natural justice to be applied in relation to our contract with Racing Queensland, Racing Australia and the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission.
“It is a very simple argument.
“Prior to 2002, rule 240(1) simply meant that a horse ‘may’ be disqualified. Now that word ‘may’ is very powerful. The word ‘may’ was applied in the Tierce case. Tierce had won the 1991 Golden Slipper. Subsequent to the that win, a prohibitive substance was found and the trainer was fined a small sum of money.
“Because the word ‘may’ is in that particular rule, the discretion of the stewards found that it didn’t warrant enough for that horse to be disqualified from the Golden Slipper.
“What is interesting is that come 2002, the rules were changed where the word ‘may’ was removed and replaced with the word ‘must’ … hence you can see that there was no element of discretion or any principles of natural justice that could be applied.
“It was a unilateral decision by those powers that be to say that is the end of the horse’s win and hence the disqualification.
Well, we challenge that.
‘Now, I made that promise 309 days ago. I said it all along and we never give up … so we will now be attacking to restore the name of Alligator Blood through the first case, as far as we are aware, that will overturn and put back what should be in place … and that is the discretion which allows decisions to be made.”
“I will do whatever it takes through whatever courts now necessary … starting with the Supreme Court of Queensland where we have filed to have the matter served on the respondents … Racing Australia, Racing Queensland and QRIC.
“This matter will not be laid to rest until we have Alligator Blood’s and his famous colours and name restored at the Magic Millions Pavilion as the winner of the Magic Millions Three-Year-Old Guineas.”