Title-chasing Moore handed record drug fine
Macau: Leading Macau trainer Gary Moore has been fined HK$500,000 (£41,590) for a positive drug test returned by one of his horses.
Moore, seven times champion jockey in Hong Kong and a multiple championship-winning trainer in Macau, is well known in Europe after riding in France in the 1980s.
He rode Gold River to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 1981 and also partnered Ravinella to victory in 1988 in both the 1,000 Guineas and the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches.
The son of great Australian jockey George Moore, Gary Moore sent out Francis to finish second in a Listed race in April, after which the horse returned a positive to atenolol, a drug used in humans for the treatment of hypertension by slowing the heart.
The fine equals the world record HK$500,000 fine handed out by the Macau Jockey Club in 2009 to Stephen Leung, who had seven positive drug tests. He was also disqualified for two years.
Local racing officials said that their decision to fine Moore and not ban him was based on "a significant plea" from the trainer who is involved in a tight race to retain his trainers' championship.
Moore called on his brother John, Hong Kong's reigning champion trainer, to give evidence at the inquiry as an expert witness on what he described as "a contamination case".
"I am absolutely shocked at the size of the fine for a minuscule amount of the drug present," John Moore told the South China Morning Post.