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Gold Coast trainer disqualified for three years over cobalt positive sample
17 Mar 2017 | ThoroughbredNEWS News Desk 
The Racing NSW Stewards' on Friday conducted an inquiry into the Analysts’ findings of cobalt at a concentration above the level excepted in AR178C(1) in a pre-race urine sample taken from Pitbull prior to the gelding winning the Class 2 Handicap conducted at Ballina racecourse on the 26 December 2016.

Cobalt was certified at the following levels

National Measurement Institute
135 ug/L
Racing Analytical Services Limited
126 ug/L

Evidence was taken from trainer of Pitbull Mr Kent Fleming, who also represented the interests of the owner Ms D Carelli, Racing NSW Senior Official Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann and ARFL Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley.

Mr Fleming was found guilty of a charge under AR178 of having brought Pitbull to the Ballina racecourse for the purposes of the gelding engaging in a race when a prohibited substance was detected in a pre-race sample.

Mr Fleming was disqualified from racing for a period of 3 years to commence immediately and to expire on 17 March 2020 on which day he may re-apply for a licence.

In considering penalty Stewards took into account this was Mr Fleming’s third breach under AR178, in a period of 10 years, in addition to a period of disqualification issued under AR178E in 2013.

Under the powers of AR196(6)(a) the commencement of the penalty was deferred for seven days, however, Mr Fleming may not start a horse in any race in that period.

Under the powers of AR177, Pitbull was disqualified from its 1st placing in Race 1, the Class 2 Handicap conducted at Ballina on 26 December 2016 and the placing’s were amended as follows:

1st Super Zulu
2nd Les Remarquables
3rd Classroom Destiny
4th Northern Wings
5th Dashing Win

Mr Fleming and the owner of Pitbull were advised of their rights of appeal.

Relevant Rules

AR178 - Subject to AR 178G, 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.
AR 178C. (1) The following prohibited substances when present at or below the concentrations respectively set out are excepted from the provisions of AR 178B and
AR 178H:-
(l) Cobalt at a mass concentration of 100 micrograms per litre in urine or 25 micrograms per litre in plasma.

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