Victoria’s chief steward Terry Bailey says there is no time frame on investigations into elevated cobalt levels detected in horses from three prominent Melbourne stables.
Trainers Peter Moody, Mark Kavanagh and Danny O’Brien have all been named as having horses which returned high levels to the banned substance during the spring carnival.
A threshold of 200 micrograms per litre of urine was introduced last year.
“….we are conducting investigations into the circumstances that led to the elevated levels of cobalt being detected in race-day samples taken from horses from the Moody, Kavanagh and O’Brien stables,” Bailey said.
“It is now our priority to gather all the facts to determine the circumstances surrounding each case. We will not be putting a timeline on the completion of this process and will not be commenting on the specifics of each case whilst our investigations continue.
“Our investigations will determine whether any or all of the trainers will be charged with a breach of the Rules of Racing. They have the presumption of innocence and are free to continue racing at this time.”
All three trainers have issued statements saying they have no idea how the readings could have been obtained as cobalt was not used in their stables.
Cobalt is an essential mineral nutrient which affects multiple body systems. It occurs naturally and is an ingredient of feed supplements but is toxic at high dosages which prompted the introduction of the threshold.