Racing Victoria stewards have issued leading trainer Peter Moody with three charges over the positive cobalt test recorded by Lidari following his second place finish in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Moody recently returned from an overseas holiday this morning and was informed by Racing Victoria Chief Steward Terry Bailey that he faces charges that he administered, or caused to be administered, the prohibited substance cobalt for the purpose of affecting the performance of Lidari in the Turnbull Stakes; that he administered, or caused to be administered, the prohibited substance cobalt which was detected in a sample taken from Lidari prior to or following its race and that he brought Lidari to race with the prohibited substance cobalt in its system.
Bailey told Racing Ahead this morning that Lidari had recorded cobalt readings of 380 and 410 in two separate tests conducted at labs in Western Australia and Hong Kong and he said that a potential explanation for the high reading had been disproven, which he explained was the reason that the Moody investigation had taken longer than the separate investigations into Mark Kavanagh, Danny O’Brien and Lee & Shannon Hope, who were all charged last month.
“At this stage that is where the investigation has taken us,” Bailey said.
“We have done a pretty exhaustive investigation including testing some of the explanations that could have caused this and that hasn’t given us the answers that would support these elevated levels.
“Unfortunately it took a little bit longer.
“As I have said all along these cases have their own stories and Mr. Moody had given us an explanation of what may have caused it and we did some trial tests on that substance that was being used and it just took longer than the others to complete.
“He was using a powder that contained some cobalt for the treatment of a horses hooves and that trial test has been done and those results don’t explain those levels.”
Lidari produced the best performance of his racing career to date when he finished second in the Turnbull Stakes before he went on to finish sixth in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and 19th in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
The Acclamation entire contested the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m), Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) and Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) during his autumn campaign, but he failed to fire in all three starts and was sent to the spelling paddock.
Moody will face a hearing in front of the independent RAD Board to answer to the charges at a date that is yet to be set.