Black Caviar Trainer Peter Moody Fires Back At Horse Steroid Accusers
Verbal warfare "has broken out" between Australian trainers and their British counterparts over accusations that Black Caviar and other Royal Ascot winners from Down Under "may have been given steroids during their career," according to J.A. McGrath of the London TELEGRAPH. An "emotive peak in this ugly debate was reached" when Black Caviar trainer Peter Moody "was asked whether the mare had ever been given steroids." He replied, ''Nil. Steroids increase bulk. Black Caviar was a huge mare, from the day she was born. To give her steroids would have been absolutely counterproductive. She was tested 24 hours after arriving in Britain last summer and three days before her Ascot win. There was nothing in her system" (TELEGRAPH, 5/1). In Sydney, Matt Stewart reported the British Horseracing Authority has "refused to reveal if Black Caviar was treated with steroids before arriving at Asoct last June." Freedman tweeted: "Some Brits need to pipe down re Aussie horses at Ascot and not tar all. My Ascot winner was never given steroids. #mostwouldnt" Moody "took a swipe at 'lilywhite' English trainers." Moody: "They bang on about steroids, but they are the first to use Lasix when they campaign horses in the U.S." (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 5/1). The BBC reported Black Caviar "was tested prior to winning the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last June." The BHA said: "There is no evidence to suggest that horses trained from outside Britain competing in this country have done so with the benefit of anabolic steroids" (BBC, 5/1).
COURSE OF ACTION: In London, Greg Wood reported Ascot senior execs said that the course "will continue to subsidise the travelling costs of horses from around the world to enable them to race at the track, regardless of the drugs policies in operation in their native jurisdictions." Ascot Int'l Racing Head Nick Smith said, "It's a rule thing. We don't make the rules, we couldn't stop them coming and as long as they are complying with the rules of racing, that's fine." He added, "It's not it's all of a sudden that it's been found out that steroids are sometimes used in Australia -- it's common knowledge. I understand that it's in the public eye now, but nothing has changed, our policies haven't changed" (GUARDIAN, 5/1).
HORSE MATTERS: In Sydney, Michael Lynch reported Racing Victoria's Head of Veterinary Services Brian Stewart estimated that about 40% of trainers "use steroids on their horses." Stewart said the controlling body does not have systems in place to monitor the use of steroids so the best he can do is produce a ''guesstimate'' on usage. Stewart: ''Perhaps a guesstimate might be that around 10 percent of trainers might use them consistently and perhaps 40 percent from time to time. I can't say with any certainty, so these figures have to be taken on that basis" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 5/2). Also in Sydney, Roots & McClymont reported racing stewards are investigating whether More Joyous, the horse at the center of the row between John Singleton and Gai Waterhouse, was "injected with an anti-arthritic drug five days before racing poorly at Randwick at the weekend." The champion mare "did not eat all her feed on Monday night after the injection of the drug pentosan polysulfate" (SMH, 5/2).
GAINING CONTROL: In Edinburgh, Stuart Bathgate reported two of Scotland’s leading trainers "have welcomed the eight-year ban on Godolphin’s Mahmood Al Zarooni as proof that British horseracing has the doping problem under control." Trainers Linda Perratt and Jim Goldie said that the ban "showed that the system of random testing produced results." Perratt said, "The British Horseracing Authority do a good job with the dawn raids that they do. You don’t have any prior warning that they’re coming in, they just turn up, and that’s a great thing for keeping everybody on their toes" (SCOTSMAN, 5/1).
A FRIEND REQUEST: In Abu Dhabi, Geoffrey Riddle wrote, "In a sensational twist to the Mahmoud Al Zarooni doping saga," the former Godolphin trainer "appeared to question whether to appeal" the eight-year ban handed out to him. At around 9pm UAE time, Al Zarooni wrote on his Facebook page: "Hello everybody. I have been advised to appeal the case, what are your opinions?" (NATIONAL, 4/30).