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Queensland officials have stepped up drug testing for the winter carnival with samples taken from 50 horses at the Gold Coast feature meeting.

The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission has announced increased drug testing in the next two months.

QRIC commissioner Ross Barnett said the testing supported the regulation of prohibited substances during Queensland’s premier racing carnivals.

“In January, the commission’s operational units collaborated to successfully implement a number of in-and-out of competition sampling and testing strategies for the 2017 Magic Millions race day,” Barnett said.

“The winter carnival will see a similar escalation to ensure the integrity of racing during its busiest period.

“The carnival sees some of Queensland’s richest races as high class competitors converge to Queensland from all over the country and New Zealand for these premier events in both equine codes.

“The QRIC Racing Science Centre, Veterinary Services, Stewarding and the Integrity Regulatory Unit will work overtime to provide a level playing field for all racing participants during the winter racing carnival.

“While it won’t be immediately obvious that our testing regime is more robust over the carnival period, I can assure participants that we have ramped it up,” he said.

Pre-race tests were carried out on 32 horses at Saturday’s Gold Coast meeting and a further 18 after their events.

 
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