Gai Waterhouse: won her first Melbourne Cup with Fiorente on TuesdayPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Trainers face charges for unapproved treatment
Australia: Trainers Gai Waterhouse and Mikel Delzangles face a Racing Victoria disciplinary hearing on Friday and potential bans after they were charged with administering medication to their runners before the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.
Tres Blue, trained by Waterhouse, who won the race with favourite Fiorente, had an antibiotic cream applied to his feet while Dunaden, winner of the Melbourne Cup in 2011, was administered an oral paste to treat stomach ulcers.
Delzangles and Waterhouse were charged under rule AR 178E (1) which states: "Notwithstanding the provisions of AR 178C (2), no person without permission of the stewards may administer or cause to be administered any medication to a horse on a raceday prior to a horse running in a race."
Neither trainer applied to the raceday stewards for permission to allow the treatments according to Terry Bailey, Racing Victoria's chief steward, and while the cream given to Tres Blue would have been passed, the officials would have prevented the paste being given to Dunaden.
Both horses were allowed to contest the Melbourne Cup - Dunaden finished 11th and Tres Blue 22nd - with Bailey stating that the stewards were allowed to use their discretion in such cases.
Trainer Paul Beshara was banned in September by the Racing Victoria appeals and disciplinary board under a new rule which demands a mandatory six-month suspension when it was claimed that he had injected one of his runners with an unspecified medication on raceday.
However, speaking on RSN Radio, Bailey said: "There is a minimum penalty for a breach like this of the rule but that does come with some special conditions. One of those is if there would be an injustice if the penalty was handed out and if it doesn't fit the crime."