Racing Victoria stewards have revealed that Peter Moody-trained Lidari tested positive to the banned substance Cobalt after he finish second behind Lucia Valentina in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Racing Victoria announced via a statement yesterday afternoon that the urine sample taken from Lidari following the Turnbull Stakes had contained traces of the banned substance cobalt at a concentration in excess of 200 micrograms per litre; results which were confirmed by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Laboratory.
Moody was informed of the positive drug test yesterday afternoon and released a statement soon afterwards in which he said that he had no idea how Lidari could have been found with an excessive level of cobalt in his system.
“I am devastated to be informed by Racing Victoria stewards that one of my runners has tested positive to a banned substance during the 2014 Spring Carnival,” Moody said in the statement.
“I have no knowledge or understanding as to how this could occur and will with the Racing Victoria Integrity Services Department to bring this matter to a conclusion as soon as possible.
“I take great pride in my role in thoroughbred racing in Victoria and strive to managed my business and support my wonderful group of owners and staff with the highest levels of honesty and professionalism.
“I will continue to pursue this goal over the next few months and do everything possible to clear my name.
“In respect to the proceedings that will follow from this announcement, I will not be making any further comment until their conclusion.”
Lidari was purchased by OTI Racing at the end of 2012 after being placed at Group level in France and has been a consistent performer at Group level since arriving in Australia.
The Acclamation entire started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival with credible performances in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m), Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) before he stamped himself as a Caulfield Cup contender with his strong effort in the Turnbull Stakes.
Lidari had every chance in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), but could finish no better than sixth and he clearly did not stay the trip when he finished 19th in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Cobalt is a mineral supplement that is generally used on cattle and sheep, but it has a performance enhancing effect on race horses because it makes the body believe that it is not receiving enough oxygen and increased the production of red blood cells – making it the equine equivalent of EPO, which was one of the drugs of choice during the dark days of cycling doping.