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Cobalt in the Queensland Racing Industry - Qld Gallops - Racehorse TALK

Author Topic: Cobalt in the Queensland Racing Industry  (Read 36713 times)

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Offline dubbledee

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O.P. « 2015-Jan-30, 02:28 PM »
A press conference was held by control body Racing Queensland this morning.

The following item by Brad Davidson summarises the information provided.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/superracing/six-trainers-face-possible-bans-over-cobalt-levels-after-initial-racing-queensland-tests/story-fnii0mrv-1227202117923?nk=fd8192f88e3235bd25bc012b7702f9f3

Offline dubbledee

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« 2015-Jan-30, 02:30 PM Reply #1 »
The key item from the press report:

THREE thoroughbred and three harness trainers are facing possible bans after nine samples came back above the cobalt threshold in Racing Queensland’s initial tests on 340 urine samples.

Another comment from Brad Davidson's report:

One thoroughbred trainer linked to the irregularities voluntary handed in his trainers’ license last year.

Offline Redbream91

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« 2015-Jan-30, 04:12 PM Reply #2 »
maybe it was that bloke that trained out of the sunny coast that gave it away last year. Cant remember his name

Offline Norton

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« 2015-Jan-30, 07:46 PM Reply #3 »
That was quick post DD.  Were you at the news conference yourself or did Phillip ring you with the scoop?

Offline arthur

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« 2015-Jan-30, 09:19 PM Reply #4 »
maybe it was that bloke that trained out of the sunny coast that gave it away last year. Cant remember his name


Would be a lot of trainers who gave it away last year . .

Not a good post RB

Offline dubbledee

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« 2015-Jan-30, 10:21 PM Reply #5 »
That was quick post DD.  Were you at the news conference yourself or did Phillip ring you with the scoop?

No, didn't make it along, Norton.

Those who follow social media knew at 9 am that the Press Conference was scheduled for 11:30.

It's a disgrace that bloggers who sell tips don't have a hire car sent around at RQ's expense to bring them to these media events.

Sometimes I just shakes me head.  :nowink:

Offline Vintage

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« 2015-Jan-31, 09:05 AM Reply #6 »
No, didn't make it along, Norton.

Those who follow social media knew at 9 am that the Press Conference was scheduled for 11:30.

It's a disgrace that bloggers who sell tips don't have a hire car sent around at RQ's expense to bring them to these media events.

Sometimes I just shakes me head.  :nowink:

How about you don't pollute every thread on the forum with your personal vendettas.

I believe this topic has a real chance of a massive impact on the racing industry and I don't want to be reading this type of rubbish mixed in with what is happening and all the opinions around this topic. Move on or at least stick to posting in that particular topic.

Offline dubbledee

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« 2015-Jan-31, 09:32 AM Reply #7 »
Yes, it's rubbish for sure.

Justracing has been tipped off that there was an 11.30am address by Racing Queensland Integrity boss, Wade Birch (pictured), to the media this morning at Racing Queensland at Deagon about the cobalt issue. But even though Justracing is accredited Racing Queensland media, no advices as to the meeting arrived by email or phone. That's a shame, as I do like to be kept in the loop, so I'll therefore now have to draw my own conclusions when I see something in the media from one of the Racing Queensland sympathisers like possibly The Courier Mail tomorrow. If the meeting did happen today it was obviously for "selected media" only. Racing Queensland seem to be having a run of "selected media" announcements lately. Real shame that.

Offline Norton

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« 2015-Jan-31, 12:00 PM Reply #8 »
Chill Vintage, or put Norton on ignore....that's what the button is for, and the choice is yours  :bleh: .  I am entitled to as much space as you have in here, and will use my share as I want to.  This is not a minuted corporate space, it a blogsite.  Perhaps you mistake "vendetta" with my intolerance of stupidity expressed daily on another blogsite.  And be assured, I am in the majority on that one.   

But to address your "personal interest", perhaps one can debate if Cobalt is a "serious" topic?  I suggest it is newsworthy.  But serious? Not really.  Those hundreds of stables not at risk in this Qld sweep would know they are clean and will sleep soundly at night.  The few wondering if they have to show cause will be concerned, and they deserve to be.  The whole thing will blow over, and the industry will recognize that Wade Birch is doing a good job working for a change at the front edge of an emerging issue rather than having the comfort of confined rules, a comprehensive understanding of, and limited access to, the technologies required.

Going forward there will be fewer Cobalt positives returned than there are any other prohibited substances found.  Too much at stake given owners now pay $100K for a horse and think they have brought a cheapie.  Too much at stake for a stable that cannot afford to risk reputations or a client base for a relatively small kill on Betfair.  Indeed it is reasonable to expect that from the day RVL came out on Cobalt, there may not ever be another positive to be found.   The vitamin boys will back off, and the needle boys will put the bottles and syringes in the bin.   In the gallops I expect a couple of vitamin users have crossed the threshold and will escape with a minor penalty congruent with the level detected.  What's the big deal about that?

And the suggestion that the Qld lab purchase equipment to test needs to be seriously thought through on a cost to benefit measure.  The technology required for analysis of Cobalt and other heavy metals is called an Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS).  I am happy to describe that if Phillip Purser doesn't so I will wait a few days.  But let me at least tell you this bit.  Apart from the instrument itself, you require special "clean rooms" to house one in order to avoid contamination occurring.  Then you need a supply of piped Argon gas to operate one and a reservoir for that gas...not a part of your every day lab infrastructure.  All up the Dept of racing would be looking at $500,000 to "find" a drug no one is game to use anymore.  The test can be done in commercial labs for about $50.  What is needed is one lab in Australia to be the single testing lab, with an ICP-MS and that would likely be best in Sydney or Melbourne.  The second best technology would be based around Neutron Activation, a dangerous one because of radioactivity and horrendously expensive. 

The lab that ends up being the reference lab should easily be able to perform testing for Cobalt in blood because all that is required is an extra chemical extraction step, e.g. a Triton Detergent with an ammonia base to digest blood proteins and releast the Cobalt in free form to be analysed in the MS.  With an armoury of blood and urine tests available to the industry this Cobalt thing becomes yesterday's fish and chip wrapper, a term Phillip likes to use.   

I hope you have enjoyed the serious side of the debate and am more than happy to expand on issues as you further seek to raise, or engage in debating your opinions on the Cobalt "crisis".  Some people really do need to take a Valium on all this however, and let Wade Birch go about his business.  In the meantime let me suggest that it is more serious to me that uninformed fools like Phillip wade into this and try to make mileage out of it .....not for any positive industry purpose, but to make a headline for a tip selling blogsite. 

I hope you enjoy his rubbish, but you will get no joy from me hoping I will abstain from drawing attention to his rubbish.   :bleh:  :bleh:  :bleh:

Offline whispering

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« 2015-Jan-31, 12:54 PM Reply #9 »
Those who shout the loudest usually have the least to say Vintage.


But its ok, cobalt is yesterdays news anyway. If people are caught its just because of a simple error like the feed or vitamins.

Never could be anything sinister, no not in horse racing.

Not to mention turnover is down year on year, no one attends the races anymore and now that TVN is going down we wont have a dedicated racing channel..

Once the older generation die off who will replace them? Maybe gambling addicts but they also run out of money.

The most profitable days are not saturday day, the pools may be bigger but they are just inflated from the whales and corps getting a % back on their bets, have a bet on friday night and there is great value to be found. Because no one trusts or actually cares about racing outside of racing. I didnt even hear about the ATCs $30,000 holiday offer for memberships, or anything about the $16,000 on offer for members today, or whaever they are offering the public, on any station or publication other than the racing show thats on after Big Sports breakfast on sky.

Racing is a joke. My turnover on racing has dropped by around 90% in the past year, and thats all going to sport now.

Offline Norton

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« 2015-Jan-31, 01:26 PM Reply #10 »
Or, perhaps Whispering, those who know better know more.  I am yet to see an assumption of your proven, apart from some misguided bias.  Anyway, nice to see you still follow me LOL.

Offline whispering

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« 2015-Jan-31, 01:43 PM Reply #11 »
http://www.ibisworld.com.au/industry/default.aspx?indid=657

But obviously you do not subscribe to this service (or I'd assume so) so lets use the BRCs own strategy plan

http://www.brc.com.au/strategic-plan/BRC-Strategic-Plan-2015-2017.pdf

Please provide sources when talking shit, as you can see wagering has declined as well as 6% decline in visitors.

But of course you are right. Just cant prove it.

Offline Gintara

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« 2015-Jan-31, 03:25 PM Reply #12 »


Not to mention turnover is down year on year, no one attends the races anymore and now that TVN is going down we wont have a dedicated racing channel..


I'm the first to kick Sky but even I could tell from their press release that the above is clearly not fact.

Just saying ....  :whistle:

Offline Norton

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« 2015-Jan-31, 04:23 PM Reply #13 »
LOL.   Well aware of the IBIS product.  My TABCorp and Tattsbet shares were purchased at the right time and I am more than satisfied with the yield I see.  That report is designed for short term investors (the mainstream interest of IBIS subscribers) across the entire ASX, and undoubtedly there might be more salacious choices for investors at that moment.  The chances of TAB Corp foundering or Tattsbet failing are slim.  Tattsbet is poised to implement sales of its Lotto product into supermarkets and petrol stations, and is undertaking a reengineering process that should reap considerable profitability from its operations.  I would recommend that stock without reservation for longer term investments.     

As for the BRC Business Plan you need to read that in context.  I was present at the meeting at which the CEO explained the company strategy.  It relates to the business plan initiated to accommodate the competitive market in which Racing now operates. 

I am well abreast of the issues.  You have to learn how to interpret these materials my friend.  The racing industry in Australia remains one of the major industries with multimillions being spent in infrastructure and prizemoney, and, when you include nonparimutuel gaming, billions in gaming turnover.  Attendances on course are in massive decline except for event markets, which continue to boom and underwrites the profitability of well managed race clubs such as the VRC and the BRC.

But Whisper we digress and run the risk of upsetting Vintage, who demands there be no nonsense in this very serious thread.   Pray tell me your opinion on the pro's and con's of testing blood samples for Cobalt.  Should it replace urine testing or just be an adjunct?

Offline Vintage

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« 2015-Jan-31, 09:26 PM Reply #14 »
I guess we wait to see who the trainers involved are from Qld which may dictate how quickly this goes away.

Offline dubbledee

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« 2015-Feb-02, 02:29 PM Reply #15 »
Norton, I hope lots of people in racing admin read your post on the difficulties of testing for cobalt.  :bulb:

And you're right - there'll be no need to spend a squillion to provide local testing now that anyone who was previously escaping detection knows the game is up.

Retention of samples for restrospective testing is a very powerful deterrent.

Offline el zoro

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« 2015-Feb-02, 03:10 PM Reply #16 »
I'm wondering what action (if any) will be taken against the Vic trainers first & then see if the QLD trainers cop similar by Stewards up here.

Also I hope both states publish all irregularities they find, what horses, if they were market firmers, where they finished in the race, etc. Might not be all that helpful but may show some trends.
   

Offline MagiC~*

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« 2015-Feb-02, 03:59 PM Reply #17 »
All anybody wants, besides the guilty, is transparency.

Offline Vintage

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« 2015-Feb-02, 07:19 PM Reply #18 »
Norton, I hope lots of people in racing admin read your post on the difficulties of testing for cobalt.  :bulb:

And you're right - there'll be no need to spend a squillion to provide local testing now that anyone who was previously escaping detection knows the game is up.

Retention of samples for restrospective testing is a very powerful deterrent.

Where would I read the evidence regarding the retention of samples being a very powerful deterrent?

Offline Norton

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« 2015-Feb-02, 09:02 PM Reply #19 »
All racing labs hold their samples frozen at -80C for future reference.  The only limitation would be space. 

Offline D-G

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« 2015-Feb-02, 09:12 PM Reply #20 »
All racing labs hold their samples frozen at -80C for future reference.  The only limitation would be space. 

Norton, you are obviously well educated in this area, which I am not, so hopefully you can answer a question I have.

What is the testing regime of the controlling body?

Do "they" test for everything that is illegal?
There have been rumours for a long time that certain trainers 'knew' what was being swabbed for and avoided positive as such.

If Qld racing choose not to obtain testing equipment for cobalt, will ALL horses be proven to be 'clean'?
Or will only certain samples be sent to the "testing lab"?

Offline Norton

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« 2015-Feb-02, 09:24 PM Reply #21 »
I am not privy to the inner machinations of RQ.  Sory if i have given that impression.  I AM a scientist and well aware of good laboratory practice and believe that the Qld lab is well run and operates on the basic principle of best practice.   You question relates to risk management.  The laboratory would have a standard testing menu for substances prohibited under the ARB rules.

Keep in mind that the Cobalt issue is at the cutting edge as of Jan 1 2015 and testing is being sorted out.  This is normal practice.....the crooks engineer something and the labs are often behind.  For all we know, there might be a Titanium Hydroxyethylborontricarbonaye substance the smarties have come up with to let lame horses race.  There wont be a test for it yet, but be assured the various regulatory agencies will be constantly scanning for the use of new drugs. 

Offline D-G

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« 2015-Feb-02, 09:39 PM Reply #22 »
I am not privy to the inner machinations of RQ.  Sory if i have given that impression.  I AM a scientist and well aware of good laboratory practice and believe that the Qld lab is well run and operates on the basic principle of best practice.   You question relates to risk management.  The laboratory would have a standard testing menu for substances prohibited under the ARB rules.


I am asking as a complete novice to the area with which you appear to have an indepth knowledge.

What are the testing capabilities of the equipment used?
Does the tester need to be specifically looking for something, or will an irregularity show up regardless?


Offline Norton

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« 2015-Feb-03, 03:22 PM Reply #23 »
DG I imagine a racing testing lab would be no different to any institution dedicated to searching for prohibited substances in major sports e.g. Olympics, cycling.  There would be two parallel approaches....one I can term "forensic" where the screening is blind i.e. lets see what is in this sample, and the second being "specific" where you test for a panel of possible prohibited substances.  But be aware that each has its limitations.  The causes of limitations are manifold but include technology; sample types e.g. blood, urine, saliva, spinal fluid, tissue; targeted substances e.g. organic or inorganic; naturally occurring substances e.g. EPO; and assay interference factors.

In this context, and to answer your question, it is unlikely there is any perfect drug testing protocol capable of detecting a crooked vet or stable might come up with.  That is mainly because the crooks that come up with something "new" are smart chemists who know the limitations of drug testing.  The trend has always been for the dishonest to set the pace and the forensics follow.  The AFL drug scandals at Essendon and Cronulla are good examples.

But be assured if the various authorities know the prohibited substances available, they will do their darndest to have a full menu of tests for them.

Offline D-G

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« 2015-Feb-11, 09:25 PM Reply #24 »
How are we travelling with this?
Names must be forthcoming shortly?


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