Moody takes aim at cobalt rules
Former trainer Peter Moody has spoken out against his cobalt sanction for the first time, claiming a recent move by authorities to review the controversial substance was ‘too little, too late’.
Speaking on RSN927 on Saturday morning prior to the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes meeting at Caulfield, Moody said that in 2014 he was a victim of being racing’s leading trainer and also of an overreaction from authorities to cobalt.
“Unfortunately, because I was top dog at the time, it made headlines for all the wrong reasons and the authorities wouldn’t have a bar of it being anything else,” Moody said.
“They (authorities) didn’t do their homework. They just didn’t do their homework and they just destroyed and wrecked careers.
“At the end of the day, it probably should have been a fine or a minor penalty and let’s go away and do some tests on this. Let’s not just take the word from one vet that’s running rampant through the industry.”
Moody was banned for six months in March 2016 after a long-running legal process stemming from a cobalt positive from his horse Lidari in 2014. He immediately handed in his trainer’s licence.
Some weeks ago, the Australian Trainers’ Association wrote to Racing Australia urging it to review all protocols surrounding cobalt, claiming the science was wrong and that cobalt levels could be breached using legitimate products in a normal feeding routine.
This letter came off the back of a rash of cobalt positives with some trainers only marginally breaching the threshold limit of 100 micrograms per litre of urine.
Racing Australia chief executive Greg Nichols confirmed during the week that RA had given the Veterinary Advisory Committee the task of providing a fresh analysis around the science of cobalt with results due before RA’s November 12 meeting.
Moody, however, said the RA move was needed some years ago.
“Too little too late,” he said. “Whatever the science tells you, I think the results tell you that cobalt isn’t massively performance-enhancing.
“I think I said at the time if I had the option of giving the horse a shot of painkiller – a phenylbutazone or something like that – over cobalt, you’d do it every time to try and enhance a horse’s performance.
“It was made out to be this massive kryptonite and was blown out of all proportion and very wrongly so and unfortunately you are seeing people’s careers and livelihoods lost and taken away from them.
“And now, and now, four years later down the track after myself, Danny O’Brien and Mark Kavanagh were splashed across the front page of every racing media outlet – radio and television – holding syringes indicating we were the worst things since sliced bread or whatever.
“And now they are going to speak to a regulatory body to determine … like fair dinkum … give me a break.”