Wishmaster's positive an 'honest mistake' - stewards

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 November, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 November, 2004, 12:00am

The positive swab returned by Andy Leung Ting-wah's (pictured) sprinter Wishmaster was accepted as an 'honest mistake' at the end of a Jockey Club stewards' inquiry yesterday, but it did not stop the trainer being fined $75,000.

Wishmaster swabbed positive to the anti-inflammatory drug phenylbutazone, and its metabolites oxyphenbutazone and gamma-hydroxyphenylbutazone, in the post-race blood and urine samples taken from him after he finished second in the Henan Handicap on October 3.

The inquiry established that Leung's head lad had accidentally given the treatment, intended for another horse who was not racing, to Wishmaster.

'This is fully supported by our security video footage,' said Jockey Club executive director of racing Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges.

'It was a classical case of a straight-up mistake. Unfortunately for Andy Leung, the rules of racing give the trainer full responsibility for everything that happens in his stables. It is his responsibility to present his horses for racing completely drug free.'

Wishmaster was disqualified from his position as second placegetter, and the placings amended to read: Cendamy 1, Shogun 2, Bulb King 3.

The last horse to return a positive to the commonly-used anti-inflammatory 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 eventually cost the trainer an identical $75,000 fine, under the same rules dealing with a trainer's responsibility.