Racing NSW Pursuing Cobalt Claim Against Stephen Farley

Thoroughbreds, unlike their human athlete counterparts, do not feign innocence when tests for performance enhancing substances come back positive. All the feigning is left to their connections.

One would think that with all the suspensions and negative notoriety attached to the seemingly unending use of cobalt, trainers would wise up, but Group 1 winning trainer Stephen Farley is the latest to face a stewards’ inquisition after his horse Di’s Diamond exhibited two positive tests for cobalt from a pre-race test in late February.

NSW Racing Stewards are relentless, as the case against former Alma’s Fury trainer Paul Murray indicates. They are looking into results from a test conducted in 2013 when the horse won the Apollo Stakes and placed in the Doncaster Prelude. Murray will have to answer for eight charges in that inquiry.

Not even the forced exit of Peter Moody seems to have communicated to trainers that cobalt above a certain level will not be tolerated. The surprise expressed by trainers when caught seems to be more one of, “I can’t believe I was caught,” as much as anything.

Meanwhile, ibuprofen is increasingly turning up in Victoria and NSW, so human involvement is certain, as it is difficult for horses to deal with the child-safety caps on ibuprofen bottles.

Fortunately, for us writers, ibuprofen use is not only permitted, it is encouraged as a way to enhance our writing performance by alleviating the pain in our typing fingers.

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