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Waller escapes penalty after Stewards’ inquiry

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Racing New South Wales Stewards will approach Government authorities concerning the contamination of feed products being sold to racehorse trainers following an inquiry that saw leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller escape penalty after three of his horses returned positive swabs.

arinosa

Arinosa winning the Wenona Girl Handicap, was one of 3 horses from the Chris Waller stable disqualified. Photo by Steve Hart.

Waller had to front stewards after the trio returned positive swabs to the prohibitive substance Ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory.

Gosford winner Seuss on February 14, Jade Marauder when unplaced on February 16 and March 16 and Arinosa after winning at Warwick Farm also on March 16 all returned irregular results from swab samples taken.

The premiership winning trainer was charged under the rules of racing for presenting his runners for competition with an illegal substance present, but after stewards’ investigations, it was established that feed substances were contaminated in the factory prior to their delivery to Waller’s Rosehill stables.

A statement released by Racing New South Wales read “Licensed trainer Mr Chris Waller pleaded guilty to four charges issued under AR178 of having presented horses to race whereby a prohibited substance was detected in samples taken from them. In considering the matter of penalty Stewards were fully satisfied that the finding of Ibuprofen in samples from the racehorses Seuss (NZ), Jade Marauder and Arinosa was due to contamination with Ibuprofen of a feed product supplied to the Waller stable at the manufacturing mill.”

And the Stewards were also satisfied that Waller had made all reasonable and necessary inquires of his feed supplier.

Waller was relieved that the matter was finally over after going through a worried couple of months for him, his staff and his owners.

“The past month has been a testing period for me personally, as well as for my team of 60 staff. Obviously our race track success has been unaffected but to have this hanging over our heads has not been easy,” Waller said.

“I would firstly like to thank all of my staff for the professionalism and dedication they have shown during this period. As today’s inquiry concludes it has been through no fault of mine or any of my direct staff and it further backs up that the systems we have in place are faultless within our own control.

“I would also like to thank the managing owners of each of the affected horses for the understanding they have displayed during the process of this inquiry. Their support through this time has been greatly appreciated.”

Even though Waller escaped any penalty, each of the horses that were tested positive were disqualified from there respective races with The Shooter being elevated to be the winner in the benchmark 70 Handicap at Gosford on February 14 and Choice Words becoming the winner of the Wenona Girl Handicap at Warwick Farm.

Waller is on target to win his third Sydney trainer’s premiership and as well as having 127 1/2 wins on the board o far this season, he is also having a great Autumn Carnival collecting a Group 1 winning double at last week’s Randwick meeting.

Improving filly Royal Descent scored a tearaway win in the $550,000 Patinack Farm Australian Oaks (2400m) followed a win in the $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) with former New Zealand three year old Sacred Falls.

Waller is looking for more Autumn Group 1 glory at Randwick on Saturday and will saddle up race favourite Kelinni in the $500,000 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m).

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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