By: Brad Davidson
ONE of Queensland’s most promising trainers, Ben Currie, fears his career could be in jeopardy after a horse in his care tested positive to an anabolic steroid in April.
The 25-year-old Currie is facing a potential ban after Tints returned a positive test to banned substance boldenone when finishing fourth in a $12,000 race at Rockhampton on April 8.
Boldenone is an anabolic steroid, which is defined as a synthetic steroid hormone that resembles testosterone in promoting the growth of muscle.
Tints drifted with UBET ($2.25-$4) and TAB Sportsbet ($2.10-$4) for the race in question, according to dynamicodds.com.
Currie protested his innocence yesterday. “It just came out of the blue and we are pretty shocked about it,” he said.
“They are completely banned in the industry so there is no threshold that we have tried to come under or anything like that.
“She is a five-year-old mare who has had 40-odd starts and she was racing at Rockhampton in a $12,000 race. She is not backed and doesn’t run in the top three and it doesn’t make any sense to me.
“On top of that, her next few swabs where she ran at Dalby three weeks later and then Toowoomba from then on have all come back negative.
“It is just hard to work out how that test came back positive.”
Toowoomba-based Currie, who won his first Group race at just 19 and has plans to move to Brisbane in the future, fears the positive test could potentially spell the end of his career if stewards decide to throw the book at him.
“Best-case scenario you will probably get fined for (presenting) a horse with something (banned) in its system to the races … but probably worst-case scenario I probably cop a two-year ban which means I’m basically out of the industry, gone forever,” he said.
“Even though I am young it is pretty hard to come back from that and try to start again and mentally it is pretty tough to try to even think about doing that.
“You could possibly be just completely lost to the industry over something like that and as I said I have got no idea what happened.”
Racing Queensland steward Daniel Aurisch yesterday confirmed the positive test. Hairs from Tints’ mane have now been sent to Racing Analytical Services Ltd in Victoria in a bid to determine how long the substance had been in the horse’s system when the positive test was recorded.
Stewards are waiting for the results of the hair tests to come back before proceeding.
Tints travelled to central Queensland the day before her race on April 8 and stayed in Rockhampton overnight.
“I think probably something has happened up there,” Currie said. “I just can’t work it out and it is just ridiculous. I’ve got 50 horses in work so why would anyone give it that?
“Of all the steroids to use there is probably another 10, if you wanted to do it, you would probably use before that one and that’s what I can’t work out.
“I’ve been training for about five years and we’ve never had any positives to anything and why we would go and try to use something that is completely outlawed on a five-year-old mare doesn’t make any sense at all.”
It is unclear what penalty Currie could face if found guilty as the penalty structure has been altered under the new Queensland Racing Integrity Commission.