Dunn facing cobalt charges: Racing.com 6/14/18

Press Release:

Tatura trainer Belinda Dunn has been charged under the Australian Rules of Racing in relation to an elevated cobalt reading.

The Dunn-trained Margot’s Boy returned a cobalt reading above the threshold of 100 micrograms per litre of urine in a post-race sample after the horse’s win in the Mark Goring BM58 Handicap (1980m) at Tatura on September 23, 2017.

A Racing Victoria stewards’ report indicated that the level of cobalt was detected in excess of 200 micrograms per litre (with a measurement uncertainty of 10mg/l) by Racing Analytical Services Limited, while Racing Science Centre also found it to be in excess of 200mg/l (with an 8mg/l measurement of uncertainty).

The charges will be heard by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board at a date to be fixed.

The Racing Victoria stewards’ charge sheet read:

Charge One (AR 175(h)(i)) – Administration of a prohibited substance for the purpose of affecting the performance or behaviour of a horse in a race

AR 175(h)(i) provides that the Principal Racing Authority (or the Stewards exercising powers delegated to them) may penalise:

(h)  Any person who administers, or causes to be administered, to a horse any prohibited substance:

(i)  For the purpose of affecting the performance or behaviour of a horse in a race or of preventing it starting in a race.

The Stewards allege that, prior to the race on 23 September 2017, Mrs Dunn administered, or caused to be administered, to Margot’s Boy a prohibited substance, being cobalt at a concentration in excess of 100 micrograms per litre in urine, for the purpose of affecting the performance or behaviour of Margot’s Boy in the race.

Charge Two (AR 175(h)(ii)) [Alternative to Charge One] – Administration of a prohibited substance that was detected in a raceday sample

AR 175(h) provides that the Principal Racing Authority (or the Stewards exercising powers delegated to them) may penalise:

(h)  Any person who administers, or causes to be administered, to a horse any prohibited substance:

(ii)  which is detected in any sample taken from such horse prior to or following the running of any race.

The Stewards allege that, prior to the race on 23 September 2017, Mrs Dunn administered, or caused to be administered, to Margot’s Boy a prohibited substance, being cobalt at a concentration in excess of 100 micrograms per litre in urine, which was detected in a sample taken from Margot’s Boy following the running of the race.

Charge Three (AR 178) [Alternative to Charges One and Two] – Presentation of a horse on raceday with a prohibited substance within

AR 178 relevantly provides that:

…when any horse that has been brought to a racecourse for the purpose of engaging in a race and a prohibited substance is detected in any sample taken from it prior to or following its running in any race, the trainer and any other person who was in charge of such horse at any relevant time may be penalised.

The Stewards allege that on 23 September 2017, Mrs Dunn brought Margot’s Boy to the Tatura Racecourse for the purpose of engaging in the Mark Goring BM58 Handicap over 1980 metres when a prohibited substance, being cobalt at a mass concentration in excess of 100 micrograms per litre in urine, was detected in a urine sample taken from Margot’s Boy following the running of the race.