Leung's Wishmaster tests positive for drug

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 October, 2004, 12:00am

The Andy Leung Ting-wah-trained sprinter Wishmaster has tested positive to a well-known anti-inflammatory drug following his run at Sha Tin on October 3.

Routine samples were taken from the horse after he finished second to Cendamy on that day, and stewards were informed earlier in the week by the club's Chief Racing Chemist, Terrence Wan See-ming, that the post-race urine sample provided by Wishmaster had been found to contain the anti-inflammatory phenylbutazone and its metabolites, oxyphenbutazone and gamma-hydroxyphenylbutazone.

Wan also said the post-race blood sample taken from Wishmaster was found to contain phenylbutazone and its metabolite, oxyphenbutazone.

However, the pre-race urine sample taken from the horse did not return a positive finding.

If the presence of the drug and its metabolites is confirmed by independent testing, this would indicate that the drug came into Wishmaster's system some time between pre-race testing on the morning of the race and the taking of the urine and blood samples immediately after the horse ran.

Yesterday, Leung's stables were visited by stipendiary stewards Kim Kelly and Eugene Kwok, senior veterinary officer Brian Stewart, the manager (security investigations) Eddie Heung, and the manager (security operations) Willis Chang. The trainer was advised at that time of the findings.

Leung has now exercised his right to have the untested portion of the post-race blood and urine samples taken from Wishmaster, the 'B' sample, forwarded for independent analysis by the Laboratoire des Courses Hippiques in France.

The last horse to return a positive to phenylbutazone in Hong Kong was Elephant Dance after he raced at Sha Tin on October 6, 2002.

The Gary Ng Ting-keung-trained stayer's positive cost the trainer a $75,000 fine under rules dealing with his responsibility to present horses drug-free for racing.

Shane Dye's appeal against his suspension and fine for careless riding at last week's Happy Valley midweek meeting will be heard at 10.30am on Friday.