RV Stewards' Report - Roger James and Robert Wellwood

Racing Victoria (RV) Stewards have received a report from Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) confirming that a prohibited substance was detected in a pre-race urine sample collected from the Roger James and Robert Wellwood trained racehorse, Prowess.

The report relates to a pre-race urine sample taken from Prowess prior to the mare starting in the TAB Champions Stakes (Race 8) over 2000 metres, at Flemington Racecourse on 11 November 2023. 

RASL reported that the urine sample was shown to contain Phenylbutazone, Oxyphenbutazone and Gamma-hydroxyphenylbutazone (a non- steroidal anti-inflammatory and its metabolites) which is a prohibited substance on raceday in accordance with the Australian Rules of Racing.

The Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) also reported that it had detected Phenylbutazone, Oxyphenbutazone and gamma-hydroxyphenylbutazone within the reserve portion of the urine sample.

Phenylbutazone is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent. It has analgesic (pain relieving), anti-inflammatory and fever suppression properties and is registered for use in horses by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.  The substance is, however, a prohibited substance under the Australian Rules of Racing when detected in a sample taken from a horse at a race meeting or trial (including an official trial or a jump-out for the purpose of obtaining a permit to start in a race).

RV Stewards initially informed Mr James and Mr Wellwood of the irregularity on 22 December 2023.  Mr James and Mr Wellwood were informed on 5 February 2024 of the confirmatory findings and that Stewards are continuing their investigation.