TRAINERS at Sandown applauded on Wednesday efforts to weed out cheats — but added they hoped for an explanation for the spate of positive doping tests during Melbourne’s spring carnival.

DARYL TIMMS reports in the HERALD SUN that Mornington trainer Jason Warren said he wasn’t shocked by news that high cobalt levels were detected in several horses. He said speculation about its use had abounded for several months.


“At the end of the day, trainers run big operations and things can find their way in easily,” Warren said.

“Now they are finally testing for it (cobalt) which is good. A level playing field is all we are asking for and if we have got a level playing field it gets down to the best horse on the day.

“A lot of times you go to the races and people in the industry know the people who are doing the wrong thing and, more often than not, you just have to cop it.”

Robbie Griffiths said he was disturbed by allegation that horses trained by Peter Moody, Mark Kavanagh and Danny O’Brien had tested positive to elevated levels of cobalt.

Griffiths, president of the Victorian branch of the Australian Trainers’ Association, said he hoped there was a plausible reason for the high readings.

He said testing showed that no one was exempt from Racing Victoria’s integrity unit and if charges are laid and any trainer found guilty, they must be punished to clean up the industry.

“I hope these charges don’t come to fruition,” he said. “My personal opinion, and I haven’t spoken to the committee, is that no one wants to tarnish our wonderful industry which we have to co-exist in.

One theory floating around Sandown for the elevated cobalt readings was feed contamination.

The trainers facing the allegations all had runners at Sandown.

Kavanagh had his only runner in the opening race, maiden galloper Spruiking who ran fourth.

Moody turned up later to saddle up Lucky Romance, who ran third in the fourth race.

Western Heir was scratched from the sixth race and Thelittleracketeer was unplaced in the seventh as was Wild Fire in the last.

A victory for either trainer would have brought them before the microphone for a post-race interview.

Both declined to elaborate on their plight on Wednesday.

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