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Trainer's Success Brings Out the Spear Throwers. - Qld Gallops - Racehorse TALK

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Offline Arsenal

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O.P. « 2017-Oct-12, 07:19 PM »
DOES BEN CURRIE DESERVE THE MAULING DISHED OUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

LGHR COMMENT

LET’S be clear at the outset – LETSGOHORSERACING is in no way suggesting anything untoward is happening behind the scenes at the Ben Currie stable in Toowoomba where the young trainer is enjoying one of the hottest winning streaks in the country.

But for some time we have been receiving ‘whinges’ in the form of emails, texts and phone calls making some wild and unsubstantiated allegations. To date we have chosen to ignore these but after Currie’s huge winning haul of six winners and a second from seven races at Clifford Park last Saturday night social media has gone bezerk.

And it wasn’t all good news for the ‘golden boy’ of Darling Downs racing. One prominent local trainer even suggested on Twitter that his horses were getting some help and that nothing was being done about it. The Tweet has since been removed but it is something that the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission should be investigating – even if it means hauling in the trainer who made the claim and asking him to substantiate what otherwise amounts to defamation.

Currie was born into a prominent and successful racing family in Toowoomba and had plenty of experience to call on from Paul Nolan senior – his grandfather we believe – right through to his dad, a successful trainer in his own right and his locally based training rellies, Michael and Paul Nolan jnr. Ben was reportedly thrown into the deep end or training spotlight whilst studying journalism when his father was disqualified.

Young Ben made a fist of his new challenge and formed some powerful alliances in south-east Queensland and especially in Victoria (another story) with some very prominent and colourful identities in all sorts of fields of business.

In any case such has been the wave of success that Currie has enjoyed in the last couple of years that he has also made plenty of enemies within the industry and call it ‘tall poppy syndrome’ if you like, the situation has started to reach a stage where QRIC needs to provide some clarity to the situation. If they don’t the wild rumours of what is supposedly happening behind the scenes, the mad speculation of start because of an ownership involvement with certain people, some in the political arena, and the reason for Currie being able to improve horses that come into his care by literally lengths within a short time will continue to be pumped out on social media. It isn’t a good look for he or the industry as a whole.

When Currie took eight runners to Clifford Park for the seven-race twilight card last Saturday and went home with six winners and a second the ‘hate mail’ sky-rocketed to a new level. Perhaps the one suggestion in all of the emails that were published on various websites was the one that QRIC should employ Security Guards for a month-long 24/7 surveillance of the Currie stable. It sounds outlandish but it would certainly silence the critics if he continued to enjoy the same level of success.

Letsgohorseracing has reliable intelligence that the suggestion of using security guards in a similar manner was made in the past by people in authority at Racing Queensland when stables were enjoying a considerable run of success (this included one in Brisbane and another on the Sunshine Coast) but the Chief Stewards of the day would not entertain the proposals. We are told that this was before the establishment of QRIC and involved Chief Stipes Wade Birch and Allan Reardon. Perhaps the latter might like to tell us why he rejected this suggestion when to anyone who knows how the racing rumour mill works would feel it could only provide more transparency.               

Six winners on the card for Currie set a new training record in Queensland for a TAB meeting – and certainly those who have achieved it in the past (Bruce McLachlan, Toby Edmonds, Alan Bailey and Gillian Heinrich) were not as young or inexperienced as him.

The huge haul started with the most dominant of wins by Island Sunset, with the latest addition to the Currie stable bolting in to break her Maiden status at start No 18. One irate lady, who critics are claiming is a rival trainer, expressed her disbelief to punters.com when she wrote:

‘He only had Maiden horse that won 1600m race for one week. Ask him how many times he worked it? You cannot improve a horse naturally by 10 lengths in one week. It is impossible and I tell you that he is raising eyebrows in Queensland racing.’

Currie has now trained 18 winners at Clifford Park this season for at a strike rate of 36 per cent after claiming 74 winners at 31.6% last season. That prompted this whinge:

‘If it sounds too good to be true, it generally is. Just remember Lance Armstrong never got caught cheating or failed a swab, he got dobbed in by his mates.’

Much has been made in the ‘Whinges’ to LGHR about Currie’s record with positive swabs – in what most would consider a short time and of the links his stable has, both to political and business identities from Queensland to Victoria.

One email stated: ‘Do you remember when Currie won with a promising horse at carnival time at the Sunshine Coast last year. The owner (I think he was a gentleman of Italian origin) got involved in the SKY interview after the race telling how he bought the horse because it was Lot No 911 and then it was discovered that this guy wasn’t even listed in the ownership. The Keystone Cops initiated some inquiry – don’t even know what happened there or what happened to the horse. But I do remember an interview shortly after on 4TAB that the Racing Minister did where she told of Currie tipping her the horse and how he was such a great young trainer for the industry in Queensland. Are you aware that the syndicate head of some horses in his stable is a Member of Parliament who is involved in the Government’s Racing Sub Committee? Are owners in his stable employees of the Ministerial office of Kate Jones? What links does the trainer have with certain much publicised businessmen in Victoria? It’s all very interesting and the questions should be asked by QRIC.’

Another emailer, who supports the success of Currie but then gives him a verbal backhander was this one, who wrote to punters.com:

‘I can see both sides to the argument here. Obviously he can train, and seems like a good young kid with work ethic to match when I’ve heard him interviewed. But four positives in last two years, shouldn’t he be suspended? Like Angland on Saturday a $4,000 fine for breaking the rules in winning a Group 1, no suspension? The whole steward, suspension system is a farce. Look at the difference in penalties for Damien Oliver compared to James McDonald, just no consistency.

Another of the critics suggested:

And for some reason he has a lot of horses for only four or five starts, then they just disappear.

And this one:

Can someone explain to me how a horse after 17 starts and had not got closer than four lengths of the winner in them in very weak maidens comes out and wins by just under six lengths?

The reply, from a fan: ‘Very good trainer, very good at placing horses. Simple as that! Trainers differ in levels of ability. That’s why there're great trainers and some that are considered hobby trainers. Way too much hate. I wonder if it's because they're sh*t trainers themselves under an alias.’

Which prompted this response: ‘I challenge the stewards to place a security guard in his stables for one month to see if his results stay the same. Best strike rate in the world. Is he getting away with something? Best friend is chief steward.’

LGHR offers ‘right of reply’ to the Chief Steward in Toowoomba as we are told that is far from correct and that the ‘man in the hot seat’ is becoming increasingly frustrated by the mounting controversy in his backyard.   

Some of the emails we have received are suggesting that the RQ stewards are also frustrated with the Currie situation. If what we are hearing is correct then perhaps there needs to be some questions asked of them by Commissioner Barnett of QRIC.

There was this email to LGHR:

‘Are you aware that stewards visited a leading stable enjoying considerable success recently and discovered oxygen tanks and refrigerators full of blood? When they reported this to QRIC the answer was that ‘nothing illegal’ was happening. It was all part of a successful training process being adopted by the trainer in question.’

Then there was this one:

‘Is a veteran steward telling any licensee that complains about the success of a certain stable that an inquiry involving the trainer in question was halted by someone higher up at RQ a couple of years back for supposed legal reasons? (There was more detail in this email involving certain discovery and a rental car etc which LGHR is not prepared to publish for legal reasons).

Even the ‘red hots’ have been dragged into the Currie whinges with this one:

‘I see where the steward they say could become Head of Integrity (Ian Brown) is now in charge of the trots. With what we are reading is going on there at present that he seems to be doing next to nothing about, perhaps they need a re-think on whether he’s the right fit for that job. The Integrity Boss (Dayle Brown) has just resigned in Victoria. Now an appointment of a guy with his experience would make sense. But things that make sense just don’t seem to happen in racing in Queensland.’ 

AND so we have another major drama in racing in Queensland. As if the allegations of Archie Butterfly on his must-read website (itsnotnormalisit.com) about the Brisbane Racing Cub and the shenanigans that are apparently happening there haven’t made the Sunshine State the joke of Australian racing.

It all comes down to who is going to investigate these serious allegations?

In the case of the BRC and what the Butterfly has written (his latest concerning a birthday party hosted at Doomben apparently has the Chairman going ballistic), but those being dumped on for some strange reason aren’t prepared to answer the criticism (not a good look for them or those running the industry).

Therefore it is up to a higher body to investigate. QRIC says it’s not their province. For some strange reason the Labor Government doesn’t want to instruct the weak-kneed Racing Queensland Board they appointed to do their job on the issue (and keeps falling back on the Monteith Report which only involved the track problems not a number of other contentious issues that need addressing) and the LNP is in bed with the BRC and doesn’t want to rock any boats leading up to an election hoping against hope that Tim the Toolman can lead them again to the promised land.

Extract from letsgohorseracing.com.

http://www.letsgohorseracing.com.au/

Giddy Up :beer:
« Last Edit: 2017-Oct-12, 07:34 PM by Arsenal »

Online Authorized

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« 2017-Oct-13, 05:19 PM Reply #1 »
Paragraphs 4 and 5 suggest to me the author is happy to build strength to any rumors.

Online Authorized

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« 2017-Oct-13, 05:26 PM Reply #2 »
Who is the author ?

He is absolutely building on any innuendo.

Offline Arsenal

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« 2017-Nov-02, 10:59 PM Reply #3 »
QRIC withdraws case against Toowoomba trainer
1 November 2017
The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission has withdrawn one of two proceedings against Toowoomba
trainer Mr Ben Currie.
Mr Currie was found guilty by the stewards for presenting the horse ‘Tints’ to race at the Rockhampton
Jockey Club course in April 2016 while the horse was found to contain the prohibited substance boldenone.
His appeal against the decision was to be heard by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
however the Commission is not proceeding with the matter.
A second appeal by Mr Currie for presenting the horse ‘Party Till Dawn’ with a prohibited substance, namely
methamphetamine, at the Toowoomba Turf Club in July last year is proceeding.
ENDS

You would expect the QRIC would have advised the reason why.......RTI is available for anyone interested.


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Offline j.r.b.

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« 2017-Nov-29, 10:08 AM Reply #4 »

Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Jan-12, 08:10 AM Reply #5 »
Ben Currie is waiting on a decision for an allocation of 20 boxes at Eagle Farm but apparently the BRC isn't making a decision frustrating for leading trainer possibly other trainers have prior claims...... Currie claims there are vacancies so why no decision by the BRC.......if Dubbles was still around and allowed to talk he might or might not tell us.

https://justracing.com.au/2018/01/11/ben-currie-man-mission/


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Online Authorized

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« 2018-Apr-07, 11:58 AM Reply #6 »

QRIC enquires into suspicious activity at Currie stable

Stewards are investigating suspicious activity at the Currie stable

The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards have opened an inquiry into suspicious activity observed at the stable of Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie this morning.

QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett said members of the QRIC’s Integrity Investigations Team (ITT) observed a stable employee of Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie acting suspiciously in the vicinity of a number of thoroughbred race horses this morning, some of which are racing at today’s Toowoomba Weetwood Handicap.

“IIT officers have interviewed the employee and trainers Mark Currie and Ben Currie about their observations and have also seized some items from the stable including CCTV equipment which they believe will assist them in their enquiries,” he said.

“Todays’ Toowoomba Chairman of Stewards has opened an inquiry and taken initial evidence from the stable employee, Mark Currie and Ben Currie and a Commission veterinarian has taken saliva, urine and blood samples from seven horses.

“At this time there is not sufficient evidence to warrant the disqualification of the runners from racing at Toowoomba today, but if subsequent enquiries determine there has been the administration of race day treatment that contravenes the rules of racing, these horses may be subsequently disqualified.

“This matter will be vigorously pursued to establish the facts of todays’ alleged incident,” Mr Barnett said.

Further information will be released when it becomes available.


Online arthur

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« 2018-Apr-07, 12:28 PM Reply #7 »
With all the 'goss' about integrity etc regarding TBA this weekend, I don't think that anybody would be brave enough . . or silly enough to even spit on the footpath  :whistle:

Offline Heisenberg

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« 2018-Apr-08, 10:13 AM Reply #8 »
With all the 'goss' about integrity etc regarding TBA this weekend, I don't think that anybody would be brave enough . . or silly enough to even spit on the footpath  :whistle:
Breaking habit is a hard thing to do

Offline j.r.b.

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« 2018-Apr-09, 11:52 AM Reply #9 »
Breaking habit is a hard thing to do

That's an interesting first post for someone who registered in February 2016.

Online arthur

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« 2018-Apr-09, 12:18 PM Reply #10 »
Breaking habit is a hard thing to do

Obviously a man who lives by his own precept  :beer:

Offline nemisis

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« 2018-Apr-09, 01:01 PM Reply #11 »
Despite all the talk from racing authorities about up to date testing equipment and rigorous stewardship it seems the the only way anyone is caught is by a physical failure on their part.

EPO is an undetectable drug and it very clear that most leading trainers seem to know how to delay a build up of lactic acid with the use of milkshakes and whatever else.

Sad if racing follows greyhound racing where the bigger stakes become the domain of only some.

Offline JWesleyHarding

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« 2018-Apr-10, 09:38 AM Reply #12 »
That's an interesting first post for someone who registered in February 2016.

He /she is probably one who likes to think before they speak.

Unlike some. :embarrassed:

Offline PoisonPen7

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« 2018-Apr-11, 12:04 PM Reply #13 »
Obviously a man who lives by his own precept  :beer:

You got a belly laugh out of me yet again Arthur   :lol:

Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Apr-11, 08:22 PM Reply #14 »
Whatever one thinks about the man it's obvious he knows what he's doing .......purchased Weetwood winner Amanaat out of a tried horse sale in Melbourne for only $5K the horse came from a very good stable too but Currie has put lengths on it.

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Offline j.r.b.

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« 2018-Apr-13, 12:27 PM Reply #15 »

Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Apr-13, 06:13 PM Reply #16 »
Media release
13 April 2018
QRIC stands down Toowoomba stable employees
The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) last night stood down two Toowoomba stable
employees of Trainer Ben Currie.
The decision follows the Commission’s continuing investigation into possible breaches of the rules
of racing concerning race day treatment of a number of horses at Mr Currie’s Toowoomba stables.
On Saturday morning April 7 members of the QRIC’s Integrity Investigations Team (IIT) observed
suspicious activity around the horses, some of which raced later that day at the Toowoomba
Weetwood Handicap meeting.
QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett said the swabs taken from seven horses on Saturday morning
and other items seized continue to be the subject of scientific analysis.
“The allocation of prizemoney won by the horses under investigation has been suspended pending
the final outcome,” he said.
“This is going to be a protracted investigation with a number of lines of enquiry including the
examination of samples taken and items seized which includes CCTV equipment therefore the final
outcome will most likely be several weeks away.
“This investigation has been, and will continue to be thorough, professional and impartial.”
Commissioner Barnett said due to the ongoing nature of this major investigation, the Commission
will make no further comment at this time but will keep the Queensland Racing Industry informed of
any developments.
ENDS.

Then follows another Media Release that Ben Currie and his father today attended a stewards inquiry headed by Alan Reardon the inquiry was adjourned pending further inquiries.

https://www.qric.qld.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Toowoomba-Trainers-appear-at-QRIC-Inquiry.pdf

Giddy Up :beer:


Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Apr-20, 06:50 PM Reply #17 »
Media release
QRIC Stewards suspend Toowoomba trainer Mark Currie
20 April 2018
Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards have today suspended Toowoomba
trainer Mark Currie.
The resumed inquiry into breaches of the rules of racing concerning race day treatment of race
horses at trainer Ben Currie’s Hursley Rd Toowoomba stables took further evidence from his father
Mark Currie.

Mark Currie has now been charged with; 12 counts of Race Day Treatment under Australian Rule
of Racing 178 (E) and four counts of Improper Practice under Rule 175 (a). Mr Currie has entered a
plea of not guilty to the charges and the matters have been adjourned for hearing to a date to be
fixed. Mr Currie has had his licence suspended until the matters are determined under AR8 (Z).

QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett said the QRIC will allege that race day treatment of race horses
occurred at the property on two separate occasions on the morning of Saturday 7 April 2018.
“The first treatment allegedly occurred pre-dawn that morning and the second was the suspicious
activity the QRIC Integrity Investigations Team (IIT) members witnessed while monitoring the
premises.

“It was also alleged that race day treatment occurred at the same stables before Ben Currie trained
horses were transported to race at Doomben and Gatton on Saturday 24 March 2018.

Commissioner Barnett said two ‘Currie Racing’ stablehands have been suspended as a result of this
investigation and the QRIC has now identified some of the individuals involved in the alleged race
day treatments but enquiries into the possible involvement of other people was continuing.

“Today’s outcome is not the end of the investigation, the focus of these continuing and protracted
enquiries is the involvement of other racing industry participants and the outcome may not be known
for several weeks,” he said.

“I expect further disciplinary action may be taken as QRIC continues to analyse items seized from
the stables including CCTV, saliva, urine and blood samples and phone records.

“The rules of racing stipulate that any race day treatment of a racing animal, including administering
legal substances without the permission of the stewards is prohibited.”

The Commission will continue to keep the Queensland racing industry informed. ENDS

Obviously more to come not looking good for someone possibly multiple persons of interest  based on the foregoing.


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Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Jun-07, 06:47 PM Reply #18 »
Nominations By Licensed Trainer Ben Currie Declined

On 30 May 2018, Racing NSW Stewards issued licensed Queensland trainer, Ben Currie, with notice that he was required to show cause as to why the provisions of AR50, to reject or decline to receive nominations of horses trained by him, should not be invoked, in response to numerous charges issued against Mr Currie under AR178E(1), AR175(a), AR178AA, AR64H, AR178AB(1), AR175(g), AR175(t), AR53(2) and AR68A by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC).

Mr Currie was provided until 6 June 2018 to make submissions in response to the notice.

Racing NSW Stewards have carefully considered brief submissions made by Mr Currie on Wednesday, 30 May 2018 and Wednesday, 6 June 2018, relative to the notice.

Racing NSW Stewards are of the view that any hardship suffered by Mr Currie by the invoking the provisions of AR50, is outweighed by the prejudice to, and undermining of, the image, interests and integrity of racing in NSW if he was permitted to nominate (and race) horses in NSW while the serious charges issued against him are yet to be determined.

In those circumstances, the “balance of convenience” is against Mr Currie and, accordingly, Racing NSW Stewards rule that, acting under the provisions of AR50, nominations of horses trained by Mr Currie will be declined to be received and/or rejected until the charges issued by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission as detailed above have been resolved.

Relevant Rule
AR 50. All nominations and entries are subject to approval, and the Committee of any Club, or the Stewards, may decline to receive, or at any time after having received, reject any nomination or entry without giving any reason for so doing. If any nomination or entry be rejected under this Rule, the fees paid in respect thereof shall be refunded.ENDS

A reversal of fortune QCAT allows Ben Currie a continuation of licence to train in his home state but NSW knocks him back .....cooperation between the States uniform application of the rules ...check the Forfeit List to see how much (NIL) cooperation there is despite what the AR prescribe .....then there's the case of Liam Birchley training in QLD under a stay of proceedings granted by VCAT after the RAD Board in Victoria gave him 12 months .....and more bad news for Birchley RV have appealed the 12 months DQ on the grounds his sentence is "too lenient".


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Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Jun-26, 08:53 PM Reply #19 »
Mark Currie free to continue training and working in racing
MARK OBERHARDT, AAP
June 26, 2018 5:45pm
TOOWOOMBA trainer Mark Currie has been granted an extension of a stay on his disqualification for two years.

Currie went to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Tuesday seeking the extension after he lost an internal review of his conviction and disqualification on 16 charges.

The charges arose from a stewards and integrity officers investigation into allegations of activities at Currie’s son Ben Currie’s Toowoomba stables in April.

Currie had sought an internal review and was granted one pending the result of the review.

He has taken a further appeal option in QCAT and wanted a stay to keep working.

Mark Currie, a trainer in his own right, has been working closely with Ben Currie who is the state’s leading trainer on winners.


Trainer Mark Currie (not pictured) is free to continue training and working in racing.
A Queensland Racing Integrity Commission spokesperson said the Commission had opposed the stay application in QCAT.

However the decision meant the stay would stand until the final outcome of a QCAT hearing and Currie was free to continue training and working in racing.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson said no decision had been made on a date for the hearing involving Ben Currie, who is facing 31 charges.

Ben Currie has pleaded not guilty to those charges.ENDS

QRIC doesn't have much luck at QCAT which is not surprising as everyone charged with an offence has a right of review and a stay simply puts them in the same position they were in pending the outcome of the internal review....most of which uphold the stewards decision .

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Offline gunbower

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« 2018-Jun-26, 09:36 PM Reply #20 »
How  surprising that QRIC has little support at QCAT. One thing Queensland lawyers abhor is Queensland coppers ie QRIC. Guess historically no one could blame them.

Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Jul-13, 09:14 AM Reply #21 »
The latest Internal Review decision released yesty and posted on the QRIC thread dismissing Currie's appeal against a $3K fine for allegedly working his horses on the track on Good Friday when the track was closed includes some damning evidence which doesn't do anything for his credibility which in the long run might affect  his chances of beating the 27 charges he is facing which are to be heard on 13 August ...still you can never write off a well briefed and highly competent legal eagle.....and there's always QCAT if it's necessary.

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