Racing NSW Stewards today inquired into the detection by the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) and Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) of the prohibited substance Altrenogest in a post-race urine sample taken from the Andrew Dale-trained gelding Lautaro (NZ), following the gelding winning Race 1 (Kia Ora Stud Handicap, 2200m) at Scone on Saturday, 13 May 2017.
Evidence today was taken from the trainer of Lautaro (NZ), Andrew Dale; Racing NSW Senior Official Veterinarian, Dr Craig Suann and John Keledjian, General Manager ARFL. Mr Dale, as manager/owner of Lautaro (NZ), represented the interests of the owners of Lautaro.
Evidence was also taken in person from Brett Cavanough and licensed foreperson Ms Stephanie Alexander and licensed stablehand Ms Alexandra Maher by way of teleconference.
The evidence established that on Wednesday, 10 May 2017, Lautaro (NZ) was transported from the stables of Mr Dale in Albury to Mr Cavanough’s stables at Scone, where the gelding was to be stabled until the aforementioned race.
It was further established that Lautaro (NZ) was housed between two female horses that were being routinely treated with Altrenogest in the days leading up to 13 May 2017, as per normal stable practice of Mr Cavanough.
Altrenogest is the active ingredient in a number of registered prescription animal remedies used to regulate the cyclic activity of fillies and mares.
Mr Dale pleaded guilty to the charge under ARR178 in that, as the trainer of Lautaro (NZ), he presented that gelding to race at Scone in Race 1 (Kia Ora Stud Handicap, 2200m) on 13 May 2017, and a subsequent urine sample taken from Lautaro (NZ) after it won this event was found to contain the prohibited substance Altrenogest.
In all the circumstances the Stewards were comfortably satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to suggest that the likely route of exposure/administration was by way of inadvertent contamination.
After considering Mr Dale’s submissions on penalty, he was fined $6000. Acting under ARR 177, Lautaro (NZ) was disqualified from its 1st placing in the race and the placings were amended to read:
1st - Interlocuter (USA) 2nd - Wu Gok 3rd - Looking at You 4th - Plot Twist (Ire) 5th - Richard Of Yorke (GB)
Mr Dale was advised of his rights of appeal.
Relevant Rules AR 177. Subject to AR 177C, any horse that has been brought to a racecourse and a prohibited substance is detected in any sample taken from it prior to or following its running in any race must be disqualified from any race in which it started on that day.
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.