By: Andrew Eddy
Balnarring trainer Trevor J Andrews could be the first trainer in Victoria to face cobalt charges under revised threshold levels following confirmation that the prohibited substance was found in one of his horses.
Racing Victoria stewards announced on Wednesday that they had received a report from Racing Analytical Services Limited confirming that a prohibited substance has been detected in a urine sample collected from the horse Coppola.
The report relates to a pre-race urine sample taken from Coppola prior to the gelding running in the IGA Liquor at Nhill BM64 Handicap (1726m) at Geelong on December 4, 2016.
WATCH: Coppola run at Geelong
Three weeks earlier, Coppola won his first race for nearly two years when he scored at Sale as a 100-1 shot.
RASL reported that it had detected within the sample cobalt at a mass concentration of 118 micrograms per litre in urine.
The expanded measurement uncertainty for cobalt determination at 100 micrograms per litre is 10 micrograms per litre at greater than 99.7 per cent confidence.
The Racing Science Centre Laboratory reported that it had detected within the reserve portion of the sample cobalt at a concentration of 120 micrograms per litre in urine.
WATCH: Coppola’s 100-1 win at Sale
Cobalt is a prohibited substance in accordance with the Australian Rules of Racing at a concentration in excess of 100 micrograms per litre in urine following a tightening of the cobalt rules which originally had a threshold level of 200 micrograms per litre of urine.
Stewards confirmed they had initially informed Andrews of the irregularity on December 30. He was advised on Wednesday of the confirmatory findings and that stewards are continuing their investigation.
Flemington trainers Danny O’Brien and Mark Kavanagh are still awaiting a decision from their appeals last year to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
It is understood that stewards are also awaiting the VCAT result before continuing investigations into positive cobalt swabs from horses prepared by Stawell co-trainers Terry and Karina O’Sullivan.