Racing NSW Stewards on Monday conducted an inquiry into reports from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) and Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) which confirmed the presence of 4-hydroxy xylazine in a post-race urine sample taken from House of Cartier after the mare participated in and won Race 7 (Wagga Cup, 2000m) conducted at Wagga Wagga Racecourse on 1 May 2020.
Evidence was taken from Trainer of House of Cartier, Mr John Sargent, Stable Foreperson Ms Amber Edmeads, Racing NSW Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Toby Koenig and ARFL Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley. The inquiry was unable to establish the reasons for the detection of 4-hydroxy xylazine in the post-race urine sample taken from House of Cartier.
Trainer Mr John Sargent subsequently pleaded not guilty to a charge under AR240(2) of having brought House of Cartier to the Wagga Wagga racecourse on Friday, 1 May 2020 for the purpose of participating in Race 7 (Wagga Cup, 2000m), when a urine sample taken from the mare following it running in and winning that race was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance 4 hydroxy-xylazine.
After considering the evidence, Stewards found Mr. Sargent guilty of the charge as particularised.
Having considered the relevant matters in respect to penalty, including Mr Sargent’s excellent record, having been a licensed trainer for 40 years without an offence under this rule, a fine of $6000 was imposed. Mr Sargent was advised of his rights of appeal.
In accordance with the provisions of AR240(1), House of Cartier was disqualified from its first placing in Race 7 (Wagga Cup, 2000m) conducted at Wagga Wagga racecourse on 1 May 2020 and the placings amended as follows.
Maurus (GB) 1st
Master of Arts (NZ) 2nd
High Opinion 3rd
Savacool (NZ) 4th
River of Gold 5th
Division 2 – Prohibited substance in a sample taken from a horse AR 240 Prohibited substance in sample taken from horse at race meeting
(1) Subject to subrule (3), if a horse is brought to a racecourse and a prohibited substance on Prohibited List A and/or Prohibited List B is detected in a sample taken from the horse prior to or following its running in any race, the horse must be disqualified from any race in which it started on that day.
(2) Subject to subrule (3), if a horse is brought to a racecourse for the purpose of participating in a race and a prohibited substance on Prohibited List A and/or Prohibited List B is detected in a sample taken from the horse prior to or following its running in any race, the trainer and any other person who was in charge of the horse at any relevant time breaches these Australian Rules.
W R Birch (Chairman)
C L Albrecht