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Licensed Trainer Gary Portelli Fined $3000

**BEFORE THE RACING NSW APPEAL PANEL THE FINE OF $3000 WAS SET ASIDE**

Racing NSW Stewards have conducted an inquiry into reports from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) and Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) which confirmed the presence of Minoxidil in a post-race urine sample taken from Lord Zoulander following the gelding participating in Race 5 (Class 1 Handicap, 1200m) conducted at Kembla Grange Racecourse on 19th May 2020.

Evidence was taken from the trainer of Lord Zoulander at the relevant time, Gary Portelli, Racing NSW Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Toby Koenig, and ARFL Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley.

The following matters were taken into evidence and considered during the inquiry:

  1. Minoxidil is a vasodilator, present in a human medicine registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and also commonly available and present as the active ingredient of medicated hair regrowth shampoos.
  2. There are no registered veterinary pharmaceuticals that contain Minoxidil.
  3. It was established that a stablehand employed by Mr. Portelli utilised such a medicated shampoo.
  4. The estimated levels of Minoxidil detected by ARFL were considered low and most likely to be consistent with contamination.

The evidence established that the most likely cause for the detection of Minoxidil in the sample taken from Lord Zoulander was that a stablehand licensed to Mr. Portelli had been using a treatment that contained the banned substance Minoxidil.

Charge against Mr Portelli
 Mr Portelli subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge under AR240(2) of having brought Lord Zoulander to Kembla Grange Racecourse on 19th May 2020 for the purpose of participating in the Class 1 Handicap, 1200m when a post-race urine sample taken from the gelding was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance Minoxidil.

Penalty
In assessing penalty Stewards considered the following matters

  1. Mr Portelli’s record in relation to this rule
  2. Guilty plea
  3. Relevant circumstances of the matter

Mr Portelli was fined $3000 and advised of his appeal rights.

Lord Zoulander
In accordance with the provisions of AR240(1), Lord Zoulander was disqualified from its first placing in Race 5 (Class 1 Handicap, 1200m) conducted at Kembla Grange on 19th May 2020 and the placings amended accordingly.

Relevant Rules
Division 2 – Prohibited substance in a sample taken from a horse

AR 240 Prohibited substance in sample taken from horse at race meeting

  • Subject to subrule (3), if a horse is brought to a racecourse and a prohibited substance on Prohibited List A and/or Prohibited List B is detected in a sample taken from the horse prior to or following its running in any race, the horse must be disqualified from any race in which it started on that day.
  • Subject to subrule (3), if a horse is brought to a racecourse for the purpose of participating in a race and a prohibited substance on Prohibited List A and/or Prohibited List B is detected in a sample taken from the horse prior to or following its running in any race, the trainer and any other person who was in charge of the horse at any relevant time breaches these Australian Rules.
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