Trainer Darryl Hansen will put the threat of a six month disqualification behind him as he saddles up Essington for this Saturday’s Group 3 George Moore Stakes at Doomben.
Hansen lost his fist appeal against a six month training ban that was imposed by Queensland stewards after his horse Hussonator produced a positive swab in July.
The five-year-old mare was found to have elevated levels TC02, otherwise known as bicarb, in her blood following her Mackay Cup win.
Hussonator then went on to win the $100,000 Townsville Cup in her very next start.
Now Hansen has been granted one final stay of proceedings until next Tuesday, when his final appeal will be heard.
Should his disqualification stand, the Mackay trainer will likely close down his stables and pursue an entirely different career.
“We go to our final stage Tuesday so either way we’ll know the results,” Hansen said.
“It all hangs in the balance. We’re just trying to stay focus on what’s happening at the moment.”
Essington was also the subject of an appeal after he produced a positive swab when winning the Rockhampton Newmarket Handicap in June.
Hansen’s original fine of $10,000 was reduced to $6,000 after the trainer argued that only one of two samples taken placed Essington over the limit.
Essington will now line up for the George Moore Stakes this Saturday, where he is expected to be one of the race favourites.
Hansen is unconcerned by the forecast of more rain in Brisbane over the coming days.
“The wet probably won’t worry him too much, he’s won in the wet before,” he said.
“I expect him to run nice.”
The trainer’s only worry is the 1,200 metre distance of Saturday’s race, which he feels may be too short for Essignton.
“He’s given me the impression this time he wants further,” Hansen said.
“If we can we’ll try and ride him a bit closer.”
The Redoutes Choice gelding has won ten of his 19 career starts and has earned more than $260,000 in prize money.
The five-year-old, who has been allocated top weight of 57.5 kilograms for Saturday’s sprint, was purchased from the 2008 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale for $150,000.