Pukekohe trainers Alan Lynch and Andrew Grant charged with drug administration
By: BARRY LICHTER
Two Pukekohe harness trainers are facing disqualification after their trotters tested positive to the illegal P-like drug Aminorex.
Alan Lynch was charged with three drug administration offences after This Sky Rox swabbed positive after winning the maiden trot at Alexandra Park on June 19 and also after running third on June 12 and sixth on July 10.
Andrew Grant is also facing a ban for drug administration after his horse Majestic One was positive after winning at Auckland on July 3.
Lynch and Grant face being banned for any period up to life and/or fined up to $30,000 because administration, rather than simply presenting a horse with a banned substance, is on a higher scale and is one of racing’s most serious offences.
The trainers are believed to have given their horses the worming drench Levamisole, which is used for sheep, pigs and cattle.
While Levamisole is itself not a banned substance, it breaks down into Aminorex, a class one drug similar to methamphetamine.
It is the second time Lynch, 48, has been caught using the drench. In August, 2012, only three months after being licensed in Queensland, a winner he trained at Albion Park, Hitemup, tested positive to Levamisole and Aminorex.
Lynch, who pleaded guilty and was banned for six months, admitted giving the horse a product called Q Drench four days before the race.
Stewards noted that while it was a worming medication it was not registered for use in horses.
Whangarei-born Lynch also previously trained in Victoria and the United States for 12 years.
Lynch has held a trainer’s licence here for the last two seasons and This Sky Rox has been his only winner.
Grant, who is a part-owner of Majestic One, had his licence elevated to that of a public trainer during last season when he prepared 14 of his 28 career wins. Seven of those wins were with the trotter Dragon Lady.
Levamisole first caused a stir in North America in 2007 when more than 50 positives were declared for Aminorex, a class one drug.
Harness Racing New Zealand clamped down on its use two years later when it received intelligence that unscrupulous trainers from both islands were using the drench to get an edge over their rivals.
While Levamisole is a good drench for a certain type of worm, trainers have used it more specifically to ward off colds while transporting horses because it is a good immuno stimulant.
Aminorex, which some horsemen believe helps horses with breathing problems, was known as ice or euphoria when it was in production in illegal labs in North America.
It produces the characteristic effects of a central nervous system stimulant – relieves fatigue, reduces the need for sleep, increases energy and confidence levels and brings about a psychological and physical exhilaration.
Racing Integrity Unit general manager Mike Godber said no date had been set yet for the hearings.
This Sky Rox is certain to be disqualified from his win, with runner-up Twelve Monkeys in line for promotion.
Majestic One’s inevitable disqualification will see Grant and his fellow owners forfeit the $6300 stake which will go to the Richard Brosnan-trained runner-up Gintaras.