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Racing NSW stewards have fined trainer Annabel Neasham after Zaaki returned a positive pre-race sample during the Sydney autumn carnival.

Annabel Neasham has vowed to reassess her stable’s procedures after her star galloper Zaaki returned a positive swab to an anti-inflammatory medication.

The Doomben Cup and Q22 winner tested positive to meloxicam in a pre-race sample prior to his second placing in the JRA Cup at Randwick in April.

Neasham fronted a stewards’ inquiry on Thursday and pleaded guilty to a charge of presenting Zaaki to race with a prohibited substance in the horse’s system.

She was fined $7000 and Zaaki was disqualified from his JRA Cup placing, with stewards taking into account several mitigating factors, including Neasham’s co-operation and the fact she has only held a trainers’ license since the start of the season.

Neasham says she is “extremely disappointed” with Zaaki’s positive result, adding that “it undermines the standard of integrity and professionalism the stable represents”.

She accepted full responsibility and will conduct a review of the stable’s procedures.

“It is a steep learning curve and to mitigate future risk I will be reviewing all processes to ensure this does not happen again, which will include lowering our dosage level of meloxicam,” Neasham said.

Neasham confirmed Zaaki’s swab results from his Brisbane winter carnival victories were negative.

Meloxicam is prescribed by vets and is commonly used for therapeutic purposes.

 
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