Three Australian trainers face cobalt doping inquiry

Trainer Mark Kavanagh
Kavanagh trained 9-1 shot Shocking to win the Melbourne Cup at Flemington in November 2009

Two more leading Australian trainers are under investigation after horses failed drugs tests.

Melbourne Cup winner Mark Kavanagh and Danny O'Brien join Peter Moody, trainer of Black Caviar, in facing inquiries over the use of cobalt chloride.

Black Caviar wins Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot

Kavanagh won Australia's biggest race in 2009 with Shocking, while Moody won 25 straight races with Black Caviar.

Racing Victoria is investigating and says horses trained by the trio exceeded the permitted cobalt levels.

"Our investigations will determine whether any or all of the trainers will be charged with a breach of the rules of racing," said Racing Victoria chairman of stewards Terry Bailey.

"They have the presumption of innocence and are free to continue racing at this time."

Three of O'Brien's horses, and one each trained by Moody and Kavanagh, failed tests after urine samples were taken last year.

Danny O'Brien

  • Caravan Rolls On - eighth, Lexus Stakes, Flemington, 1 November.
  • Bondeiger - second, Victoria Derby, Flemington, 1 November;
  • De Little Engine - won, People@Work Handicap, Sportsbet-Ballarat, 22 November.

Mark Kavanagh

  • Magicool - won, UCI Stakes, Flemington, 4 October.

Peter Moody

  • Lidari, second, Turnbull Stakes, Flemington, 4 October.
How can cobalt boost performance?
"In simple terms, the administration of cobalt can assist in generating more red blood cells to carry oxygen through the body and thus allow a horse to perform at a peak level for longer without the onset of fatigue," said Racing Victoria.

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