By: Joshua Robertson
A racehorse called Party Till Dawn has tested positive to methamphetamine after a race meeting in regional Queensland.
The positive sample for the five-year-old mare, returned after it placed second at a race in Toowoomba in June, is the second horse to show traces of the drug in Queensland in just over a year.
Party Till Dawn’s trainer, Ben Currie, is due before the Queensland racing integrity commission for an inquiry by stewards in Brisbane next week.
The only other horse in the state to test positive for methamphetamine was Island Tang in Mackay in October last year, the commission said.
Island Tang’s trainer, Cassandra Marsh, gave evidence to stewards that the horse’s positive test for the drug was a result of contact with a handler who was a regular user of methamphetamine. A state government racing drug testing expert testified that “whilst unlikely, it was possible that there was a causal link” between the handler’s drug use and the horse’s positive sample.
Racing authorities continue to find traces of methamphetamine in horses across Australia and overseas. At one racetrack in Texas in the US, five winning horses were disqualified over a three-month period this year. The Texas racing commission reportedly believed the horses were “contaminated” by their handlers.
Last month Chris Waller, the New South Wales trainer who tends to the world’s top racehorse, Winx, had another horse return a positive sample for methamphetamine. It was reported this month that Waller, who has not been charged, had begun drug testing his staff.
Currie told the ABC he felt he had a good case to fight the charge.
He was fined $6,000 by the commission on Wednesday after another of his horses, Tints, tested positive to the banned synthetic growth hormone Boldenone in Rockhampton in April.
Currie said he would appeal that ruling and was confident of being cleared, adding: “I think we had some good points that we brought to the table.”