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danny o’brien

THE KING TIP: FRIDAY 29/03/19

THE KING TIP: FRIDAY 29/03/19

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CRANBOURNE

RACE 2

#9

CHARITABLE NATURE

$2.80

(LADBROKES BEST TOTE / SP +20% – AVAILABLE ON EVERY RUNNER)

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J: JAMIE KAH

T: DANNY O’BRIEN

THE KING TIP: TUESDAY 24/04/18

THE KING TIP: TUESDAY 24/04/18

CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO JOIN CROWNBET & WATCH EVERY AUSTRALIAN RACE LIVE!

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BENDIGO

RACE 5

#3

DREADED

$3.20

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THE KING TIP – TUESDAY 07 JUNE 2016

 THE KING TIP – TUESDAY 07 JUNE 2016

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GEELONG

RACE 7

#10

SYRAHBEEL

2.5 UNITS EACH WAY

$10.00 & $2.62

(bet365.com)

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Broke through first up from a spell last start with a determined winning effort, gunning down the leader who she parked outside the whole way, in the last few bounds. That pair really burnt along in the early stage of the race but this filly ‘outstayed’ the runner up. There was a good to 3rd in the run and that’s the way it finished, so it’s a good form pointer!

Gets out to 1200m here and with added fitness that’s a “tick & tick!”

She’s drawn 9 but there’s very little speed engaged so I think Hall will take her up and lead or sit outside ‘Believing’ who might be the other leader. It look as though though those on the pace will be advantaged, so my instructions to Hall would definitely be to ride positively.

She no super star but does have a bit of toughness which I like, especially if it gets down to a dog fight in the final 50m. Clearly handles the Synthetic which she won first go on, so that’s a positive!

There’s a couple of OK horses engaged to run. Definitely no stars! Favourite Majestic Lass for Hayes / Dabernig is an odds on favourite, but is poorly weighted taking on the older males, and she will get back which mightn’t be a great thing if there’s no speed on.

At $10 each way, I think this filly is a really nice bet. It’s certainly not a gimme, but she can win and I’d be surprised if you didn’t come out in front backing her equal stake the win and place, on an each way basis.

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COBALT CONTROVERSAY (AGAIN!!):Horses to be re-tested for cobalt in Kavanagh, O’Brien & Hope cases

COBALT CONTROVERSY (AGAIN!!)

kav obrien

G1XCLUSIVE – www.g1x.com.au

BY ADRIAN DUNN@ADRIANDUNN2

 

Danny O’Brien (left) and Mark Kavanagh. 

Racing Victoria has been accused of a “cover up” as revelations emerge it plans to retest for cobalt levels in horses trained by Mark Kavanagh, Danny O’Brien, Lee and Shannon Hope.

G1X.com.au can exclusively reveal that last Friday, lawyers for RV sent formal notification to legal representatives for Kavanagh, O’Brien and the Hopes that said re-testing would be conducted on the samples of their horses for cobalt.

Kavanagh, O’Brien, Lee and Shannon Hope were all disqualified by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board for periods varying from three to five years after their horses tested positive to prohibited levels of cobalt in 2014. All four are challenging the finding at the Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Paul Matters, an advocate for the Hopes, said RV had “covered up” the fact that laboratories where samples were initially sent – ChemCentre and Hong Kong Jockey Club laboratory – had not been accredited to test for cobalt, and this information was not provided to the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board where his clients and Kavanagh and O’Brien were prosecuted.

“We know there were senior people in RV who were aware of the problem with the testing way back in 2014,” Matters said.

“They (RV) were informed of that by Dr Terry Wan, the director of the Hong Kong Jockey Club racing laboratory. We know that because Dr Wan said that in his evidence.

“There has been a completely inappropriate submission of evidence, which is the original problem, but there is a cover up too. We are not going to give up on this and finally there is going to be some justice.”

 

racing victoria lgo

RV sent an email to Racing Analytical Services Laboratory on May 12 this year requesting the samples be re-tested. A further email from RV was sent to RASL on May 26, again asking for the re-testing to proceed.

What is Cobalt? Here’s everything you need to know

Matters said the revelation that RV asked for the samples to be re-tested is tantamount to acknowledgement that the laboratories were not accredited, and effectively implodes the cases against Kavanagh, O’Brien and his clients.

Matters said the email from Dr Wan is “really critical, as he says we didn’t have accreditation at the time”

RV, in documents seen by G1X.com.au, says in light of the concern expressed by Kavanagh, O’Brien, and the Hopes about the laboratories not being accredited, it has requested the Racing Analytical Services Laboratory “undertake further analysis of the relevant samples in accordance with its current accreditation to test for for cobalt in equine urine.”

Matters said the evidence from Dr Wan, the director of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Racing Laboratory is that the laboratory was not accredited to test for cobalt in equine urine until after June 3, 2015.

Matters said the reason RV is asking to have the samples re-tested is that “they know that the original tests are inadmissible or if they were admitted they would have no scientific weight. There is no forensic credibility in those results.

“It creates an enormous problem for RV in the sense that the testing of the cobalt is the bedrock of the whole case,” Matters said. “Without an accreditation for the laboratory to do the test, they don’t have any evidence.

“The second point is it appears that people within RV were aware of that. The trainers were prosecuted and went before the RAD Board, but the RAD Board was not informed of the problem.

“We have been vindicated in a very important way by the announcement that RV now intends to try to re-test frozen urine samples from these horses. We say they would not be doing the re-testing unless what we have been saying – that the laboratories were not accredited at the time – has been correct.

“Those tests they relied upon do not have any evidentiary value.”

Matters said there is a view among some international laboratories that urine is unstable for testing for cobalt after being refrigerated for 12 months.

Samples from horses trained by Kavanagh, O’Brien and the Hopes were taken from between July 2014 and December 2014. Matters noted the urine from the aforementioned horses have been frozen now for a minimum of 18 months.

“We are going to challenge the attempt to re-test,” said Matters, who described the cobalt saga as a “shambles”, as the evidence present was “inadmissible”.

“Now, almost two years after the event there is an attempt to re-test,” Matters said.

Matters urged RV to abandon the proceedings before the Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal, given the revelations.

“For the appeals to go ahead with the continuation of the bleeding of costs is totally irresponsible.”

The VCAT hearing is listed for August 1.

 

THREE YEAR BAN: Mark Kavanagh, Danny O’Brien found guilty of cobalt doping

Two of Victoria’s highest profile trainers have been found guilty of racing horses with elevated levels of the performance-enhancing substance cobalt.

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Flemington-based trainers Mark Kavanagh and Danny O’Brien now face three-year suspensions and will make submissions on their penalties in the new year.

O’Brien said he would appeal against the decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

“When we do get to VCAT we’ll have the power of subpoena,” he said.

“We’ll also have to the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses. We look forward to cross-examining Mr Bailey (Chief Steward Terry Bailey).

“There have been some real issues raised in our case and in Peter Moody’s. The silence on those issues has been deafening from RVL.”

Kavanagh and O’Brien are two of the biggest names in racing.

Both men have trained Cox Plate winners; Kavanagh with Maldivian in 2008 and O’Brien with Shamus Award in 2013.

O’Brien also won a Caulfield Cup in 2007 with Master O’Reilly.

The Kavanagh-trained Shocking won the 2009 Melbourne Cup.

Cobalt likened to EPO

Kavanagh was charged after his horse Magicool returned an elevated cobalt reading after winning the UCI Stakes at Flemington in October last year.

Horse racing trainer Danny O'Brien talking to journalists.

O’Brien was charged after four of his horses, Caravan Rolls On, Bondeiger, De Little Engine and Bullpit, also recorded above-legal cobalt limits in November and December last year.

Tom Brennan is the vet who provided cobalt to Kavanagh and O’Brien.

He has been found guilty by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board of administering cobalt to five horses.

Cobalt has been likened to the performance enhancing drug EPO because it can increase the number of red blood cells helping to improve a horse’s endurance.

Racing officials became concerned about the worldwide use of cobalt in 2013.

Last year Racing Victoria established a threshold for cobalt at 200 micrograms per litre of urine and began testing for the performance-enhancing substance.

Kavanagh and O’Brien faced multiple charges in relation to each horse, with all charges carrying a maximum penalty of three years.

They both pleaded not guilty.

Racing commentator Max Presnell told ABC News Radio the finding was “a bloody terrible look” for horse racing.

“This could well mean, if the stewards make the case stick, that this will end the career of these trainers – and they are high profile,” Mr Presnell said.

“It’s integrity gone berserk. It puts racing in a very poor light at a time when it needs all the help it can get.”

The famous trainer of undefeated sprinter Black Caviar, Peter Moody, is also facing cobalt-related charges.

His case has been adjourned until February.

Two other trainers, Lee and Shannon Hope, were found guilty of administering cobalt to their horses in November.

Lee Hope was banned for three years while his son Shannon was banned for five years.

MARK KAVANAGH & DANNY O’BRIEN PLEAD NOT GUILTY TO COBALT

VIA: ADRIAN DUNN – @adriandunn2

www.g1x.com.au

 

MARK KAVANAGH and Danny O’Brien today both pleaded not guilty to all four cobalt charges brought against them by Racing Victoria stewards as the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board hearing began.

Veterinarian Dr Tom Brennan also pleaded not guilty to two charges and reserved his plea on a further two charges.

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The RAD Board, chaired by Judge Russell Lewis, heard from Jeff Gleeson QC, for Racing Victoria, that all the horses—Magicool, trained by Kavanagh, and four by O’Brien, Bondeiger, Bullpit, Caravan Rolls On and De Little Engine—had received an IV drip that contained 102.5 milligrams of cobalt.

Gleeson told the RAD Board that there had been “no study in the world” in which half that amount of cobalt had been administered to a horse. Gleeson said the threshold level set by Racing Victoria—200 micrograms per litre of urine—had been achieved (and exceeded) by the administration via the IV drips.

A milligram equals 1000 times a microgram, but the difference between input and output through the urine sample is due to the horse’s metabolism acting on the administered amount. “The last of the drips were given on the Thursday, and that’s why a large amount of cobalt would have washed out of the system.”

Gleeson said that Kavanagh and O’Brien and RV stewards had agreed on 22 statement of facts while Dr Brennan had agreed on 21.

“The real battleground deals with the proposition that the trainers and (Dr) Brennan say they didn’t know that the drips administered contained this significant amount of cobalt,” Gleeson said.

“The drips were prepared and administered by (Dr) Brennan or an assistant of Brennan. It was not a commercially available product and didn’t contain any product information. Brennan says he admits the drip contained a vitamin complex.

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“He says he can’t be sure or the stewards can’t prove that the cobalt in the drips caused the level. It leaves open the possibility that the trainers not only used the drip, but they also gave additional cobalt close to race day.”

Gleeson said the issue the stewards had with Kavanagh and O’Brien is did they “know, believe or suspect” the content of the drip being administered by Dr Brennan to their horses and did they cause or administer to each horse the cobalt for the purpose of affecting the performance of the horse in each race.

He said the evidence of Kavanagh and O’Brien had continually evolved and had “changed so many times it had become embarrassing. They are clinging valiantly to driftwood to keep them afloat.”

Gleeson said Dr Brennan had “discharged the driftwood” in really forthright evidence to RV stewards in July this year that came at a cost to him both personally and professionally.”

“The one thing of his story that he doesn’t change is that he didn’t know that cobalt was in the vitamin complex bottle”.

Damian Sheales, appearing for both Kavanagh and O’Brien, asked the RAD Board to provide him access to the bank and betting statements of Dr Brennan and another veterinarian Dr Adam Matthews. RV stewards have access to the information.

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Sheales said both accounts, particularly the betting accounts, would prove insightful to whether Dr Brennan had backed the horses involved in the cobalt case.

Kavanagh’s charges relate to a post-race urine sample taken from his horse Magicool after it won the Listed UCI Stakes (1800 m) at Flemington on October 4, 2014.

The West Australian analytical laboratory, ChemCentre reported a cobalt level of 640 micrograms per litre of urine (with a 64 microgram measurement of uncertainty) with the Hong Kong Jockey Club Racing Laboratory reporting a level of 670.

Four horses trained by O’Brien—Caravan Rolls On, Bondeiger, De Little Engine and Bullpit—returned cobalt readings above the threshold.

Caravan Rolls recorded in a pre-race urine sample, before it ran eighth behind Signoff in the G3 Lexus Stakes (2500 m) at Flemington on November 1, 2014, a cobalt reading which ChemCentre detected at 350 micrograms (with a 35 microgram measurement of uncertainty) with the HKJCRL detecting a level of 380.

Bondeiger, in a pre-race urine sample, posted his cobalt reading after finishing second behind Preferment in the G1 Victoria Derby (2500 m) at Flemington on November 1, 2014. ChemCentre detected a cobalt reading of 330 micrograms per litre of urine (with a 33 microgram measurement of uncertainty) while the HKJCRL recorded a reading of 370.

De Little Engine, in a post-race urine sample after its win in a Benchmark 70 Handicap (2300 m) at Ballarat on November 22, 2014, returned an elevated cobalt reading. ChemCentre determined the cobalt level to be 550 (with a 55 microgram measurement of uncertainty) while the HKJCRL registered a reading of 580.

Bullpit, in a post-race urine sample after it won a BM70 Handicap (955 m) at Moonee Valley on December 19, 2014, returned a cobalt level detected by ChemCentre at 300 micrograms per litre of urine (with a 20 microgram measurement of uncertainty) while the HKJCRL registered a reading of 320.

 

The hearing continues.

LEADING TRAINERS FACE COBALT CHARGES

By: Adrian Dunn – @adriandunn2

https://www.g1x.com.au/news/racing/leading-trainers-face-cobalt-charges

MARK Kavanagh and Danny O’Brien, two of Australia’s more prominent and successful trainers tomorrow face career-defining moments when they appear before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on cobalt charges.

More than 10 months after investigations were first made public and five months after they were initially charged by Racing Victoria stewards, Kavanagh and O’Brien will present their answers to a combined total of 20 charges.

And, also fronting the RAD Board is Dr Tom Brennan, the one-time veterinarian for both Kavanagh and O’Brien, who faces 20 charges. Last week, Dr Brennan was disqualified by Racing NSW stewards for six years on a raft of charges relating to the Sam Kavanagh-trained Midsummer Sun returning an elevated cobalt level after winning the Gosford Cup on January 9. He has appealed that decision to the Racing NSW Appeals Panel.

Damian Sheales will represent both Kavanagh and O’Brien while Adrian Anderson, the former AFL Football Operations Manager, will represent Dr Brennan. Jeff Gleeson, QC, will prosecute for Racing Victoria.

In April 2014, Racing Victoria set a threshold level for cobalt of 200 micrograms per litre of urine. Racing Australia adopted that as a national threshold on January 1 this year.

Of the four charges faced by Kavanagh and O’Brien, the key charge is under Australian Rule of Racing 175 (h) (i), which alleges that “they administered or caused to be administered the prohibited substance of cobalt for the purpose of affecting the performance of a horse in a race”.

It is categorised by Racing Australia as a serious offence charge and carries with it a mandatory disqualification of three years if the charge is proved.

Earlier this month the RAD Board disqualified Kilmore-based trainer Lee Hope for three years and his son Shannon for five years after they were found guilty of breaching that rule. Both Hopes have appealed the decision to the Victoria Civil Administrative Tribunal and have been given a stay of proceedings to continue training pending the appeals.

Kavanagh’s charges relate to a post-race urine sample taken from his horse Magicool after it won the Listed UCI Stakes (1800 m) at Flemington on October 4, 2014.

The West Australian analytical laboratory, ChemCentre reported a cobalt level of 640 micrograms per litre of urine (with a 64 microgram measurement of uncertainty) with the Hong Kong Jockey Club Racing Laboratory reporting a level of 670.

Four horses trained by O’Brien—Caravan Rolls On, Bondeiger, De Little Engine and Bullpit—returned cobalt readings above the threshold.

Caravan Rolls recorded in a pre-race urine sample, before it ran eighth behind Signoff in the G3 Lexus Stakes (2500 m) at Flemington on November 1, 2014, a cobalt reading which ChemCentre detected at 350 micrograms (with a 35 microgram measurement of uncertainty) with the HKJCRL detecting a level of 380.

Bondeiger, in a pre-race urine sample, posted his cobalt reading after finishing second behind Preferment in the G1 Victoria Derby (2500 m) at Flemington on November 1, 2014. ChemCentre detected a cobalt reading of 330 micrograms per litre of urine (with a 33 microgram measurement of uncertainty) while the HKJCRL recorded a reading of 370.

De Little Engine, in a post-race urine sample after its win in a Benchmark 70 Handicap (2300 m) at Ballarat on November 22, 2014, returned an elevated cobalt reading. ChemCentre determined the cobalt level to be 550 (with a 55 microgram measurement of uncertainty) while the HKJCRL registered a reading of 580.

Bullpit, in a post-race urine sample after it won a BM70 Handicap (955 m) at Moonee Valley on December 19, 2014, returned a cobalt level detected by ChemCentre at 300 micrograms per litre of urine (with a 20 microgram measurement of uncertainty) while the HKJCRL registered a reading of 320.

Both Kavanagh and O’Brien also face a charge that their conduct or negligence led to or could have led to a breach of the Rule by Dr Brennan himself administering or causing to be administered cobalt to the horses.

Already, the cobalt saga has taken a heavy toll on both trainers.

Kavanagh, who trained Maldivian to win the 2008 Cox Plate and Shocking to win the 2009 Melbourne Cup, has trained10 winners this season with just two in the city. He trained a career-high 135 winners in the 2009-10 season. Last season he trained 37 winners, his smallest return since the 2006-07 season when he prepared 29 winners.

O’Brien, who trained Master O’Reilly to win the 2007 Caulfield Cup and Shamus Award to win the 2013 Cox Plate, has endured a similar season. He has trained 12 winners – including four in the city – after preparing 38 winners last season. O’Brien’s career best season was 2007-08 season when he trained 105 winners.

The RAD Board hearing will have an international video link up with several expert witnesses, and will begin at noon at RV headquarters.

Moody, Kavanagh, O’Brien To Face Cobalt music 

Champion Australian trainer Peter Moody who has shot to world prominence in recent years thanks to his association with world champion mare Black Caviar will front the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary board in an extensive 3 day hearing commencing on Monday the 14th of December. Moody has accepted the charge of presenting his horse Lidari, at the races with an elevated Cobalt level, but is contesting the charge that he administered the horse cobalt prior to it testing twice over  the legal threshold limit. He’s essentially challenging the ‘science’ that dictates how a horse can have an elevated cobalt level.

Mark Kavanagh and Danny O’Briens hearings with the board for cobalt charges will commence concurrently on Monday the 30th of November. 

If precedent is any indication the trio which have to front to board are facing lengthy bans. Father – Son training combination Lee and Shannon Hope were disqualified for three and five years respectively. The Hopes were found guilty on three charges of administering, or causing to be administered, a prohibited substance (cobalt) for the purpose of affecting performance.

It sure could be a dark time for the sport with 3 of Melbournes leading trainers on the chopping block in coming weeks. 

Bailey: Moody’s Cobalt case close

VIA www.racing.com, Tom Biddington

Racing Victoria’s chief steward Terry Bailey expects the cobalt investigation into trainer Peter Moodyto be finalised this week.

Bailey, speaking on Racing.com’s Racing Ahead, believes his team will be in a position to lay charges, if required, within days.

“We’re another step closer, I’d be very surprised if we don’t have some developments this week,” Bailey said.

“The trial results we’ve been waiting on are through, Mr Moody, I understand is back in town this week so you can pretty much bank on some movement this week.

“Mr Moody gave us an explanation which may explain the elevated cobalt level and we’ve put that explanation to the test.

“Those trial test results came through on Friday which hopefully will put us in a position to move one way or another this week.”

Already three trainers – Danny O’Brien, Mark Kavanagh and father-son team Lee and Shannon Hope– as well as vet Tom Brennan, are facing cobalt-related charges but Bailey doesn’t know when those cases will be heard by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board.

“In fairness to the members of the RAD Board, I think they’ve received about five or six very large folders of evidence that they have to obviously absorb before they can do their part of the job,” Bailey said.

“You can understand it’s going to take a little while for them to sift through all the evidence provided.”

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