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Maybe Mark Johnston has a point?

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    Andrew Garvey
    July 5, 2011
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    Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey. Photo: Paul Rovere
    CHAMPION trainer Peter Moody, who is closing in on 100 metropolitan winners for the season, was dealt a blow yesterday with Racing Victoria Limited stewards receiving a report from Racing Analytical Services Limited confirming that a positive swab had been returned by the Moody-trained Lethal Arrow.

    The positive swab arose from a post-race urine sample taken from Lethal Arrow following its win in the Schweppes 0-68 Handicap at Pakenham on May 17.

    The sample was found to contain Oripavine, a narcotic analgesic substance that may act as a stimulant on a horse and is a prohibited substance in accordance with the Australian Rules of Racing.

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    Moody was initially informed of the irregularity in the sample on June 16 and was advised yesterday of RVL’s confirmation of the positive swab result.

    RVL chairman of stewards Terry Bailey said yesterday that the only other case he was aware of involving the drug was in the harness racing industry around five years ago with the positive in that case believed to have arisen from a herbal treatment.

    ”Feed samples have been taken from Mr Moody’s stable and we will be continuing our investigations but there is a lot of water to flow under the bridge before we get to the possibility of charges being laid,” Bailey said.

    Last June, Moody was fined $3000 after a mix up between the stable and its vet led to a horse being wrongly treated, which resulted in a positive swab.

    Moody who pleaded guilty to that charge will be bitterly disappointed by yesterday’s announcement as he commented at the hearing of the earlier case that ”a positive swab gives people the chance to throw some mud at you”.

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    Rewind back to 2008

    In 2008, Moody became embroiled in a row with British trainer Mark Johnston which was aroused by the Australian sprinter Takeover Target, winner of the 2006 King’s Stand Stakes at the Royal meeting. 

    Takeover Target, trained by Joe Janiak, had tested positive for a banned substance HPC (basically an appetite stimulant) before the Hong Kong International meeting five months after his Ascot success.

    Johnston railed against Takeover Target’s return to Ascot in 2008, composing a strongly-worded article for his in-house magazine Kingsley Klarion. The piece appeared under the picture of a juiced-up bodybuilder and carried the headline: "Invitation To Cheat?"

    Moody, who was at Ascot to saddle another smart sprinter Magnus, retorted sharply: "I would suggest Mark Johnston is one of the most unpopular trainers in England, and I don’t think anyone will take much notice of what he has to say anyway. He is talking out of his backside. 

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