By: Andrew Eddy
Toowoomba licensed trainer Mark Currie has been found guilty of 16 charges relating to race day treatment and was disqualified for two years at a reconvened steward’s inquiry in Brisbane on Monday.
Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett said stewards concluded an inquiry into the activities of Currie – the father of licensed trainer Ben Currie – on 24 March and 7 April 2018 at the Hursley Rd Toowoomba stables of his son.
“Mark Currie appeared today at the QRIC Brisbane headquarters to answer to 12 charges under AR 178E relating to the administration of a medication to a horse on race day without the permission of the stewards and four charges under AR 175 (a) relating to improper practice,” Barnett said.
Currie is the fourth person connected to the Ben Currie stable to be banned in the past few weeks.
Greg Britnell was last week suspended for 18 months and in doing so became the third stablehand to be suspended since Currie’s Toowoomba stables were the subject of suspicious activity on Weetwood Day on 7 April.
Cameron Schwenke was suspended for three months on 11 May after being found guilty of assisting in the administration of a substance to seven race horses on Weetwood Day and Silde Canda was found guilty of providing false evidence during the investigation and suspended for three months on 15 May.
As for Mark Currie, Barnett said: “Stewards found Mr Currie guilty of administering medication to Gully Command, Publishing Power, Hang, and Giveus A Cuddle on 24 March, the same day they raced at Doomben and causing With A Promise to be administered a medication that same day.
“Mr Currie was also found guilty of causing Giveus A Cuddle, Gully Command, Publishing Power, Ruettiger, With A Promise and Boomwaa to be administered with a medication on 7 April, the same day they were engaged to run at Toowoomba.
“The improper practice charges relate to race horses Gully Command, Publishing Power and Hang on 24 March when they raced at Doomben, Giveus A Cuddle on 24 March before it raced at Gatton and Boomwaa, Giveus A Cuddle, Gully Command, Hang, With A Promise, Publishing Power and Ruettiger on 7 April before they raced at Toowoomba.”
Commissioner Barnett said these were serious charges and the rules of racing are clear in respect to race day treatment and that more charges could yet follow.
“While it is more than six weeks since the ongoing investigation began into suspicious activity at the Currie Racing stables in Toowoomba, it is expected to be sometime before it is concluded,” he said.