Dermot Weld: considering an appeal against a finePICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Weld considers appeal against drugs fine
DERMOT WELD is considering an appeal against a €1,000 fine imposed on him by the Referrals Committee of the Turf Club following a hearing into a positive test on his filly Va Pensiero after she won a 1m3f Rated Race at Dundalk on May 13.
The blological fluid sample taken from the filly was found to contain the prohibited substance 3-Hydroxy Lidocaine, a metabolite of Lidocaine which is often used as a local anaesthetic.
Weld said: "I'm completely baffled by the whole business and I'm seriously considering appealing the fine. That's all I have to say on the matter."
At the hearing, which was held on Wednesday, Weld said that he was completely puzzled by the finding and that he had never given the filly, whom he described as a very tough and sound horse, any medicine, or asked anyone to do so, and that he could not understand how the sample taken had proved positive.
He outlined to the committee the protocols he had in place regarding medicines and referred to his exemplary record in this area.
Levels were 'very high'
Evidence was also heard from pharmacologist Dr Thomas Barragry, Joe O'Donnell, Weld's' veterinary surgeon, and Turf Club veterinary officer Andrew Tyrrell.
Dr Barragry said that the fact that the metabolite of Lidocaine was found meant that the drug had gone through the horse's system. He also stated that the levels found in Va Pensiero were very high.
Weld's vet surprised
O'Donnell said that the filly had never been administered any substance and added that the levels found indicated that the substance found was administered close to the race which surprised him greatly.
In his report Tyrrell stated that Weld maintains a very detailed medicines register which is meticulously kept and that there was no evidence of Lidocaine being administered to any of the trainer's horses.
The three-man committee - Nick Wachman (chairman), Colin Magnier and Peter Reynolds - fined Weld €1,000 for a breach of the rules and ordered that Va Pensiero, who is owned by Moyglare Stud, be disqualified from the Dundalk race which has been awarded to the Andy Oliver-trained Power Struggle who finished second.
Thornton fined after Wakea fails test
Weld was not the only trainer to suffer the wrath of the authorities, as Karl Thornton also received a €1,000 fine after Wakea tested positive for a prohibited substance following his 13 length win in a maiden hurdle at Down Royal on May 27.
The sample routinely taken from Wakea was found to contain Dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory synthetic which is modeled on cortisone.
According to committee pharmacolgist Dr Barragry, the levels found were high and the administration of the drug was recorded in Thornton's Medicines Register 29 days before the race. He was of the opinion that the drug should have been out of the horse's system by the day of the race.
Wakea has consequently been disqualified, with the race being awarded to the Gordon Elliott-trained Dove Mountain who finished second.