By: Daryl Timms
DARREN Weir and Clinton McDonald will not be charged by stewards after each had a horse test positive to the prohibited drug ibuprofen.
But stewards will recommend to the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board that their horses be disqualified from the races they won on the days of the positive tests.
Both horses had been treated with the drug at the Gippsland property of horseman Lee Evison as part of their rehabilitation from leg tendon injuries.
Weir’s Melbourne Cup hope Signoff returned a positive after winning the Listed Lord Stakes on Boxing Day at Caulfield.
McDonald’s gelding, Rib Eye, tested positive after winning at Terang on December 7, and after winning at Flemington on January 1.
But the four-year-old did not test positive when he won in between those two victories, at Bendigo on December 20. He has not raced since his hat-trick of wins.
Stewards had not received the results of Rib Eye’s urine test at Terang before the horse ran at Flemington.
“The fact that the horse produced a clear race day sample in between two positive race day samples highlights the unpredictable nature of the excretion of Ibuprofen that Rib Eye had been administered in a previous rehabilitation regime,” Racing Victoria said in a statement.
In deciding not to charge Weir and McDonald, stewards said they gave strong consideration to the fact that the trainers had proactively undertaken elective testing via Racing Analytical Services Limited.