Trainer receives lengthy disqualification following cobalt positive: Racingbase 1/4/16

By: Racingbase Staff

Harness racing trainer Mary-Jane Mifsud has been disqualified for 7 years and 6 months following the conclusion of an inquiry into a cobalt positive taken from Mister Bellisimo.  
The Kilmore horsewoman pleaded guilty after six-year-old gelding (now seven) Mister Bellisimo returned cobalt above the legal threshold following his victory in Race 6 at Albury on July 10, 2015.
The Media Release reads as follows:
Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) Stewards concluded an Inquiry yesterday into a report received from the Australian Government National Measurement Institute that Cobalt above the threshold was detected in a post race urine sample taken from MISTER BELLISIMO following its win in race 6, the CONWAY PRINTERS ENCOURAGEMENT STAKES (1770 metres) conducted at Albury on 10 July 2015.
The “B” sample and associated control sample were confirmed by the ChemCentre in Western Australia.
Ms Mifsud pleaded guilty to a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 190 (1), (2) and (4) in that she did present MISTER BELLISIMO to race at Albury on 10 July 2015, not free of a prohibited substance.
Ms Mifsud was disqualified for a period of 7 years 6 months in respect of the charge under Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) to commence from 6 October 2015, the date upon which she was stood down. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following;
• This was Ms Mifsud’s 2nd offence for Rule 190 breaches,
• That Cobalt is deemed a Class 1 substance under the HRNSW Penalty Guidelines,
• The level recorded being 260 ug/L
• Ms Mifsud’s guilty plea, licence history and other personal subjective facts.
Ms Mifsud was informed of her right to appeal this decision.
Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, MISTER BELLISIMO was disqualified from the abovementioned race.