O'Brien lauds drug testing
Keep up the good work: trainer Danny O'Brien. Photo: Vince Caligiuri
TRAINER Danny O'Brien has praised stewards for increasing the frequency of drug testing - despite two of his runners being detained at Flemington on Saturday after a ''spike'' in a pre-race bi-carb test.
''Kudos to [Racing Victoria chief steward] Terry Bailey and his team, ramping up the testing regime,'' O'Brien said in a tweet.
''Very happy to see them target-testing winning stables. Keep it up.''
Post-race testing also continued on Sunday at Ballarat.
O'Brien's well-backed The New Boy, who placed at Flemington on Saturday, and his winning stablemate Kutchinsky, were kept on the course after their races.
Bailey said on Sunday that a pre-race screen of The New Boy indicated a rise in the horse's TCO2 (bicarbonate) levels.
While The New Boy and Kutchinsky were detained at Flemington, veterinary surgeons and a racing steward went to O'Brien's stables.
''When we get elevated levels, we thought that there was enough to go on with the process,'' Bailey said.
''It's on a screen so we'll know more when the results come back on Wednesday.
''Not that The New Boy had any excessive levels from the test we took.''
Stewards took blood samples from Kutchinsky and The New Boy, with Bailey explaining: ''There have been cases of horses returning positive swabs sometimes hours after they've raced.''
The stewards continued their post-race policy at Ballarat by keeping Sava Nugget, a placegetter in the maiden handicap, for further sampling.
''From March 1, this type of testing will come into force but it is an important part of Racing Victoria's drug-testing strategies going forward,'' Bailey said.
''We have done this in the past but it will be increased considerably in the future.''