By: Shane Anderson
The father and daughter training partnership of Terry and Karina O’Sullivan are reeling after samples from two of their horses returned elevated cobalt readings.
Already under investigation after their galloper Darragh returned an elevated cobalt reading from a race at Ballarat on November 21 last year, the O’Sullivans have been informed by Racing Victoria (RV) Stewards of two further positives.
Two reports from Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) have confirmed that Gold A Plenty and Darragh returned elevated cobalt readings from pre-race urine samples at two separate meetings in August.
RASL reported that a pre-race urine sample taken from Gold A Plenty prior to the Crisp Steeplechaseover 3900m at Sandown on August 7, in which the horse fell and failed to finish, contained cobalt at a mass concentration greater than 600 micrograms per litre of urine.
The Racing Chemistry Laboratory (Western Australia) (RCL) reported that it had detected within the reserve portion of the sample cobalt at a concentration of 1200 micrograms per litre of urine.
Darragh returned an elevated cobalt reading from a pre-race urine sample prior to competing in theCatanach’s Jewellers Handicap over 1500m at Sandown on August 24, where the horse was well beaten.
RASL reported that the urine sample was shown to contain cobalt at a mass concentration greater than 600 micrograms per litre of urine while RCL reported that it had detected within the reserve portion of the sample cobalt at a concentration of 960 micrograms per litre of urine.
RASL has an expanded measurement of uncertainty for cobalt determination at 200 micrograms per litre of 10 micrograms. RCL has an expanded measurement of uncertainty for cobalt determination at 200 microgram per litre of 20 micrograms.
Under the Rules of Racing, cobalt was a prohibited substance at a concentration in excess of 200 micrograms per litre in urine at the time that both samples were taken. Since September 1, this rule has been amended with the cobalt threshold in urine reduced to 100 micrograms per litre in urine, while a 25 microgram per litre threshold in plasma has also been introduced.
Racing’s rumour mill has been running wild with claims that the O’Sullivans had two further cobalt positives since the Makybe Diva Stakes meeting at Flemington on September 10 but RV Stewards only received the confirmatory findings on Wednesday.
RV Stewards initially informed the O’Sullivans of the new irregularities on September 1 and 15 and are continuing their investigations.