Racing: Positive cobalt swabs stun top harness trainer

By Michael Guerin

Photo / 123rf
Photo / 123rf

Leading harness trainer Cran Dalgety says he will fight to defend his name if needed after two of his stable returned positive swabs to cobalt.

Dalgety was left feeling sick to his stomach after Fatima Siad at Timaru on November 19 and Raukapuka Ruler at Addington on December 16 returned unacceptably high levels of cobalt.

Dalgety was informed of the positives on Tuesday and said while he is resigned to his two horses being disqualified from their wins, he will defend his reputation should any charges of administration be laid against him. "To be point blank honest about it, anybody who thinks I would give a horse something illegal to win a race at Timaru is crazy and I would be crazy to do it.

"I wouldn't jeopardise my career for a race where the trainer's percentage would hardly buy my family a dinner out. That's just ridiculous.

"All I can put it down to is we have changed some of our feeds recently and they, like a lot of feeds, have trace elements of cobalt in them.

"I am hoping the RIU [Racing Integrity Unit] investigations will show that but I won't be getting into a big legal battle with them.

"The facts are the facts and I know we never use anything inappropriate on the horses so I don't want to get into a big legal stoush over it.

"So hopefully the right things happen because if something like this ended up in me getting time that would be the end of my career, which would be ridiculous. But while I am gutted at what has happened, my conscience is clear."

Southern trainer Shane Walkinshaw was found to have not committed any wrongdoing last year when a cobalt positive returned by one of his runners was found to have been caused by contaminated feed.

Dalgety is a far bigger name in the racing industry, as not only a premiership winner but the trainer of $2.4 million earner Christen Me.

RIU boss Mike Godber told the Herald his inspectors had taken samples of food and supplements from Dalgety's stable and the analysis of those products would be crucial to the next step in the investigation.

"Cran's other horses had been returning higher than usual cobalt readings for a few weeks so we need to see if his change in feeding and supplements used was the cause of that. That won't be a quick process but that is the next step in the investigation."

- NZ Herald

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