Chris Waller Facing Fine for Ice in Urine of Betcha Thinking
A post-race urine sample for Sydney trainer Chris Waller’s horse Betcha Thinking has returned a positive result for methyl amphetamine, known on the street, or in this case, on the turf as “ice.”
Betcha Thinking was tested after finishing second in a race at Canterbury on October 5. The result was disclosed last month and Waller wasted no time in declaring his innocence and promising to work with Racing NSW stewards to determine the source of the positive test result.
Even if Waller and his staff are exonerated, precedent indicates that a fine might be inescapable, such as those imposed on Victorian trainer Matt Laurie and NSW trainer John McNair.
Waller was fined $30,000 for a positive test for an anti-bleeding medication returned by his horse Junoob in 2014 after the horse won the Group 1 Metropolitan. The victory was subsequently vacated and awarded to the Irish horse Opinion.
Feed contamination was blamed for three of Waller’s horses testing positive for Ibuprofen in 2013, but that incident did not incur any sort of penalty.
Unlike Ibuprofen, however, which many of us pop like candy for a variety of ailments, ice is clearly a performance enhancer and its presence, accidental or otherwise, is absolutely intolerable. Scone trainer Luke Griffith was warned off for four years in 2015 when it was discovered that not only his horses, but also he himself, was guilty of using ice.