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Black Caviar trainer Peter Moody facing lengthy ban

By Martin Kelly

Peter Moody, the Australian trainer best known for his expert handling of the great Black Caviar, could face a lengthy suspension after one of his horses tested positive for the drug cobalt.

Racing Victoria stewards announced the Moody-trained Lidari produced a positive test when finishing second in the Group One Turnbull Stakes at Flemington.

He then went on to run in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, two of Australia's biggest races.

Officials recently agreed to a limit of 200 micrograms per litre in urine as traces can be found due to ingestion of feedstuffs that contain it.

"Racing Victoria Stewards have received a report from Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) confirming that a prohibited substance has been detected in a sample collected from the Peter Moody-trained racehorse, Lidari," a statement confirmed.

"The report relates to a post-race urine sample taken from Lidari when the horse finished second in the Turnbull Stakes over 2000 metres at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday, October 4, 2014.

"RASL reported that the urine sample contained Cobalt (an essential mineral nutrient which affects multiple body systems and is toxic at high dosages) at a concentration in excess of 200 micrograms per litre in urine which is a prohibited substance in accordance with the Rules of Racing.

"The sample was tested at the Chem Centre in Western Australia and was confirmed by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Laboratory.

"Racing Victoria Stewards have advised Mr Moody of the findings and they are continuing their investigation."

Mooody himself broke the news by releasing the following statement: "I am devastated to be informed by Racing Victoria Stewards that one of my horses has tested positive to a banned substance during the 2014 spring carnival.

"I have no knowledge or understanding as to how this could occur and will work with the Racing Victoria Integrity Services Department to bring this matter to a conclusion as soon as possible.

"I take great pride in my role in thoroughbred racing in Victoria and strive to manage my business and support my wonderful group of owners and staff with the highest levels of honesty and professionalism.

"I will continue to pursue this goal over the next few months and do everything possible to clear my name.

"In respect to the proceedings that will follow from this announcement, I will not be making any further comment until their conclusion."

Top Gamble has impressed in both his outings so far this term and he is one to follow in the Betfred Goals Galore Novices Limited Handicap Chase at Newbury.

He hardly covered himself in glory over hurdles, winning once and falling twice in four starts for David Pipe before transferring to the care of Richard Lee.

The seven-year-old made an excellent start for his new yard when strolling to a six-length victory on his fencing bow at Wetherby in November before following up with a similarly stylish success at Warwick last month.

Top Gamble put in excellent rounds of jumping on both occasions with the switch to fences clearly suiting this Presenting gelding.

He won off a mark of 135 last time so he is clearly pretty smart and an 8lb rise in the weights puts him just a shade behind Far West, with Lee's runner still relatively unexposed and open to yet more improvement.

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