ANOTHER horse from Ben Smith’s Newcastle stables has returned a swab irregularity but Everest contender In Her Time has been cleared to trial after a “satisfactory” result.
Group 1 winner El Dorado Dreaming, now with trainer Kris Lees, was scratched from the Tea Rose Stakes last Friday after Racing NSW stewards received the irregular result of a swab taken on Tuesday during a raid of Smith’s operation.
The investigation was launched after two irregularities from Smith-trained runners. Smith was suspended, pending the resumption of an inquiry, after providing false evidence and refusing to give evidence to stewards. Unlabelled bottles of substances were seized and taken for analysis and six horses were swabbed.
Stewards announced on Monday that two samples, including the one from El Dorado Dreaming, returned an irregularity to a prohibited substance. They said additional samples were taken from both and results were expected later this week.
They said the other four samples, including one from In Her Time, returned satisfactory results and these horses were permitted to race or trial. The news means In Her Time, now also with Lees, was cleared to trial as planned on Wednesday at Newcastle ahead of her resumption in the group 2 Premiere Stakes on September 29. The group 1 Galaxy winner had an exhibition gallop at Newcastle last Friday and will hit the October 13 $13 million Everest second up.
In Her Time is listed to run in the opening trial at Newcastle on Wednesday morning alongside El Dorado Dreaming. Lees said he had not heard whether El Dorado Dreaming’s result would be known in time for the trial. Stewards tried to gain another sample from the filly on Friday and were successful on Saturday.
Meanwhile, former rugby league player Craig Kimmorley has joined the Newcastle Jockey Club board without an election needed after only two nominations were received to fill vacancies.
Kimmorley, who is involved in horse ownership, and former NJC, Newcastle Knights and Racing NSW Country chief executive Brian Judd were the only new nominations as elected directors when the deadline closed last Friday.
They replace Bill Moncrieff and Mike Hadaway. Moncrieff resigned this month after 13 years on the board, while Hadaway did not seek re-election.
Kimmorley, now the NSW commercial sales manager for Caltex, and Judd join incumbents Geoff Barnett, who is chairman, and Robert Dan as elected members on the seven-person board.
Judd was among three directors appointed by Racing NSW and his move to the elected contingent means at least one more new face will join the executive next month. Richard Sonnichsen and vice-chairman Paul Leaming are the other appointed directors ahead of a new round of selections.
Kimmorley, the brother of former Kangaroos and NSW halfback Brett, played for the Knights, Mariners, Rams and Roosters in 1990s before injuries ended his career.
NJC chief Matt Benson welcomed the fresh face.
“It’s a really good outcome to see a younger guy get on who has a passion for racing,” Benson said.
The election and appointments coincide every two years but the club hopes to make the two processes occur in alternate years.
“It just reduces workload and it increases the stability of the board,” Benson said.
The NJC, meanwhile, was pleased with a 10 per cent increase in attendances to about 3500 a day last Friday and Saturday for its spring carnival. Benson said betting turnover for Friday’s feature meeting was up about 30 per cent.
“We were about 3500 both days so we’re very pleased with that,” Benson said.
“And our wagering turnover on Friday was 30 per cent up on parimutuel, we haven’t seen the fixed odds figures yet, and that is reflective of the quality of that meeting. That’s a really good result.”
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