Trainer suspended on cobalt charge

POSTED ON  |  20-07-2019

Monica Croston
Pakenham trainer Monica Croston was suspended for four months by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on Wednesday. Croston pleaded guilty to one charge of causing the administration of cobalt to galloper Hezza Tidal Wave in June 2016. However, she argued that the illegal levels of cobalt found in the horse's system either came from cleaning blocks she used to fight algae build-up in her water tank and troughs or via vitamin injections.

In a pre-race test before he had raced at Sandown just over three years ago, Hezza Tidal Wave returned a cobalt reading of 219 micrograms per litre of urine - which breached the then threshold level of 200m/gs even with a measure of uncertainty of 10. Croston faced one charge under AR 175 (h) (ii) - which is an alternative administration charge - after Racing Victoria dropped the more serious allegation under AR 175 (h) (I) of deliberately attempting to affect a horse's performance.

A third charge of presenting a horse to race with a prohibited substance in its system dropped away once Croston pleaded guilty to having caused the administration of a prohibited substance.

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