Stewards reject doping link to betting sting
Jockey Club stewards have dismissed any link between Shahjee's ketamine positive and the massive betting move that preceded his victory in March.
The three-year-old was smashed on Derby Day from odds of more than 7-1 to less than 3-1, before he led all the way to win the William's Coach Handicap, but yesterday's inquiry also concluded the plunge was not connected.
Although ketamine is used as an anaesthetic on horses for veterinary purposes, drugs that block pain have been widely found to be 'go-fasts' when used in the right dosage.
'That may be, but this was not a betting sting and we are confident about that,' chief steward Kim Kelly said last night. 'This is the first season that we have had a full-time person assisting the stewards' panel with analysis of betting and it has been one of the best moves the club has made in improving the judicial side of racing. His job complements everything the racing stewards are doing.'
Kelly said the betting analyst had the authority and the expertise to see who was betting which horses and in what numbers, and to construct profiles and patterns of betting behaviour.
'What he is looking for is significant changes to those patterns and then the alarm bells ring,' Kelly said. 'For example, if a punter or group of punters placed bets at abnormal levels, just on this particular horse in this race, or if someone who has not been on the radar is suddenly putting big bucks down on this one occasion. They are the sort of things he's looking for and I can tell you that none of those types of scenarios were apparent in his examination of the betting on Shahjee.'