Queensland trainer wins cobalt appeal

BRISBANE Sep 5 2016

Queensland trainer Rochelle Smith has successfully appealed a 12-month disqualification imposed after cobalt irregularities were allegedly found in two of her horses.

It is the second time in a week a Queensland trainer has had a disqualification overturned on appeal after issues were raised over whether the handling of "B" samples were in line with the Queensland Racing Act.

Magic Millions winning trainer Darryl Hansen won an appeal last week after he was originally disqualified on a TCO2 charge.

Smith had pleaded not guilty to charges over elevated cobalt levels found in Grey Countess after she was second at the Gold Coast and Vimzig after he won at Toowoomba in May last year.

After a protracted series of hearings stewards found Smith guilty and disqualified her for 12 months.

Smith appealed and her counsel argued there had been irregularities in the handling and analysis of the "B" or reserve samples sent to the ChemCentre in Western Australia.

In a judgment which became available on Monday, Queensland's Racing Disciplinary Board ruled in Smith's favour and set aside the guilty finding and the sentence.

"The Act required strict compliance with the terms of authorisation by an accredited facility for the analysis of the sample and as to how the "B" sample was to be used for confirmatory analysis," the judgment said.

"Non-accredited facilities were not contemplated at all relevant times. It would have been unfair and a denial of justice to have allowed the use of certificates raised as a result of analysis of the "B" samples in the circumstances that existed in this Appeal.

Mark Oberhardt - AAP

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