IHRB referrals hearing sees four winners disqualified for positive tests

Three of the four trainers have penalties waived after it was found they took all reasonable precautions

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An Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) referrals hearing on Thursday found a total of four winners have been disqualified for returning positive drug tests.

The quartet returned positive tests within a three-month period last year and they include the Tony Martin-trained Moonmeister, who won at 50-1 in the Curragh on Irish Oaks day last July.

The other three were the Denis Hogan-trained Ozzie’s Way at Ballinrobe in August, Shane Ryder’s A Few Bob Short at Galway on October 28th, and the Aidan Fogarty-trained She’s A Babe, who was first past the post at Dundalk on October 4th. All four trainers were fined €1,000.

But three of them – Martin, Ryder and Hogan – had their penalties waived as it was found they took all reasonable precautions to avoid a breach of Rule 96 (a) which relates to prohibited substances.

The fine stood however for Co Tipperary-based Fogarty and the referrals panel also awarded €500 in costs to the IHRB in the case of She’s A Babe.

She’s A Babe tested positive for levamisole. In 2018 Fogarty had been sanctioned for a breach of the rules with the same substance.

Moonmeister returned a positive for an anti-inflammatory medication, triancinolone acetonide (TCA), which is commonly used in equine practice.

A spokesman for the IHRB said Martin complied with veterinary advice but “due to the number of joints being treated the advised withdrawal period was not long enough”.

The Hogan-trained Ozzie’s Way tested positive for TCA and another anti-inflammatory, beta-dexamethasone.

The trainer complied with veterinary advice but “due to a complex joint being treated, and a combination of medications used, the advised withdrawal period wasn’t long enough”.

Both oxazepam and temazepam were found in A Few Bob Short. The horse had been treated with diazepam for soreness and that substance metabolises into oxazepam and temazepam.

The panel found Ryder complied with his vet’s best judgment regarding withdrawal time “but in the absence of a formal science based detection time this was not long enough”.

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