By: Daryl Timms
STEWARDS are yet to determine whether Darren Weir will be charged over the positive Signoff returned after winning the Lord Stakes at Caulfield on Boxing Day.
Weir is regarded as an innocent party after the stayer tested positive to the banned race-day drug Ibuprofen.
The drug had been used on Signoff as part of his treatment for a tendon injury at horseman Lee Evison’s Gippsland property.
Before racing Signoff, Weir had obtained a succession of elective tests which had returned negative results for the anti-inflammatory drug.
Under the rules of racing Signoff will be disqualified, but Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey said, while stewards had discretional powers, no decision had been made on Weir.
“We will put it all together and consider it all and get some legal advice on it and go from there,” Bailey said.
“It’s a very difficult one because he has gone out of his way to avoid what we’ve got now, but we’ll weigh it up.
“There is a discretion whether he should be charged or not, but it’s a bit early to be speculating on that.”
Signoff has not raced since the Lord Stakes, but four elective tests in the weeks after the race have all returned negative results.
Weir plans to run Signoff at Moonee Valley on Friday night if another test after a trial at Camperdown last Friday is negative.
Prominent horse syndicator and owner Terry Henderson, a partner in OTI Racing, met Bailey and RV chief executive Bernard Saundry and chairman David Moodie on Tuesday in a bid to have some protocols introduced for ibuprofen.
He had also sought a commitment that trainers who had three successive negative results to ibuprofen would not be charged if the horse tested positive on race day.
“To be frank we didn’t get very far,” he said.
“The way the (RV) board sees it is that it is very hard to create a precedence in this area.”
OTI has several horses that have been treated with ibuprofen, including Lidari which finished second to Signoff in the Lord Sakes.