Racing Victoria (RV) Stewards have today issued charges against licensed trainer Russell Cluning following an investigation into the circumstances that led to the Mr Cluning trained horse, Black Stream, returning a urine sample containing Cobalt in excess of the permitted threshold of 100 micrograms per litre in urine.
The pre-race urine sample was taken from Black Stream prior to the gelding running in Race 3 over 1450 metres at Kyneton Racecourse on 26 January 2021 and finishing in seventh place.
The concentration of Cobalt detected in the urine sample was determined by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) to be greater than 200 micrograms per litre (with a measurement uncertainty at 100 micrograms per litre of 10 micrograms per litre at greater than 99.7% confidence) and by Racing Chemistry Laboratory to be greater than 200 micrograms per litre (with a measurement uncertainty of 6 micrograms per litre at greater than or equal to 99.7% confidence).
In accordance with Australian Rule of Racing, Cobalt is a prohibited substance at a mass concentration in excess of 100 micrograms per litre in urine.
The Stewards have laid three charges against Mr Cluning under AR 245(1), AR 240(2) (alternative to AR 245(1)) and AR 104.
AR 245 Administration of prohibited substance in sample taken from horse before/after running in race
(1) A person must not:
(a) administer; or
(b) cause to be administered,
a prohibited substance on Prohibited List A and/or Prohibited List B to a horse which is detected in a sample taken from the horse prior to or following the running of a race.
AR 240 Prohibited substance in sample taken from horse at race meeting
(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.
The Stewards allege that, prior to the race on 26 January 2021, Mr Cluning administered or caused to be administered to Black Stream a prohibited substance, being Cobalt at a concentration in excess of 100 micrograms per litre in urine, which was detected in a sample taken from Black Stream prior to the running of the race.
AR 104 Trainers must keep treatment records
(1) A trainer must record any medication or treatment administered to any horse in the trainer’s care by midnight on the day on which the administration was given.
(2) For the purpose of subrule (1), each record of administration must include the following information:
(a) the name of the horse;
(b) the date and time of administration of the treatment or medication;
(c) the name of the treatment or medication administered (brand name or active constituent);
(d) the route of administration including by injection, stomach tube, paste, topical application or inhalation;
(e) the amount of medication given (if applicable);
(f) the duration of treatment (if applicable);
(g) the name and signature of the person/s administering and/or authorising the administration of the treatment or medication.
The Stewards allege that, between 28 December 2020 and 27 February 2021, Mr Cluning failed to record any medication or treatment administered to Black Stream as required by AR 104(2).
The charges issued against Mr Cluning will be heard before the Victorian Racing Tribunal (VRT) on a date to be fixed.