RAY THOMAS — The Daily Telegraph

RACING NSW’s chief steward Ray Murrihy has declared the controversial and damaging cobalt saga the most complex and time-consuming investigation of his career.

Murrihy has defended the stewards investigation amid criticism it has been dragging out for many months.

Trainer Kevin Moses is the latest name to be linked to the drama after it was revealed one of his horses, Felix Bay, has returned an irregularity, believed to be cobalt.

Stewards are waiting for B-sample test results before determining their course of action.

Sam Kavanagh already faces several charges after Midsummer Sun’s positive to cobalt and caffeine this year, and there are Victorian trainers also under stewards investigation.

But Murrihy said the cobalt case has demonstrated the efficiencies of thoroughbred racing’s investigative units and drug-testing procedures.

Unlike the live-baiting scandal in the greyhound code which was uncovered by the Four Corners television program it has been racing’s stewards and forensic analysts which has discovered the illegal use of cobalt.

“The point is it has been the regulatory forces of racing that have gone out there and uncovered this issue and not an expose by an investigative team embarrassing racing,’’Murrihy said. “We are dealing with the issue.’’

Murrihy has been a steward for more than 40 years and conceded the cobalt investigation has been the most complex case he has been involved with during his career.

“I would say there has been other cases with more public interest like the More Joyous case,’’ Murrihy said.

“But I feel the sheer scale of this investigation is something again and racing will be judged by how we deal with this matter. This is the platform to ensure confidence in the industry.

“I think most of the participants and punters understand there will always be challenges in this industry. There has been things like timolol, etorphine, trenbolone, steroid implants and others over the years.

“But we are determined to get to the bottom of this and find out where this product is being supplied from and how far-reaching this is in the racing industry.’’

Murrihy said he expects further developments on the cobalt investigations this week.