Hopes hit with cobalt bans
FATHER-and-son training partners Lee and Shannon Hope have been disqualified for three and five years respectively on cobalt charges.
The disqualification handed down today by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board starts at midnight on November 24.
The pair faced nine charges after three of their horses returned cobalt levels over the legal level of 200 micrograms.
The landmark penalty is sure to have repercussions beyond the livelihoods of the Hopes.
Three high-profile trainers and a vet are scheduled to face the RAD board on cobalt charges within the next month.
Terry Bailey. Picture: Andy BrownbillSource:News Corp Australia
Shannon Hope. Picture: Andy BrownbillSource:News Corp Australia
Danny O’Brien has had four horses test over the limit, while Mark Kavanagh and Peter Moody both recorded one positive test.
Between them they have won a Melbourne Cup, a Caulfield Cup, Cox Plates and Moody captured the racing world’s attention with champion sprinter Black Caviar.
All have indicated they will contest cases against them.
Flemington Equine Clinic vet Tom Brennan, who was employed by O’Brien and Kavanagh, will answer 20 counts relating to the administration and supply of cobalt.
Both O’Brien and Kavanagh have since cut ties with the Flemington clinic.
Lee Hope, who has stables at Kilmore, has held a license for 49 years and never before been charged with any offence in racing.
Shannon was in charge of the feeding, supplements and medication regimen at his Seymour stables.
Lee Hope on each charge in relation to the three horses was disqualified for a period of three years, a total of nine years but with the period of disqualification for
two of the three horses to be served concurrently so that the total period of
disqualification is 3 years.
On each charge in relation to the Three Horses, Shannon Hope is disqualified
for a period of 3 years, a total of 9 years but with 2 years of the period of
disqualification for two of the Three Horses to be served concurrently so that
the total period of disqualification is 5 years.
The period of disqualification for each trainer will commence 7 days for
today’s date – being midnight Tuesday, 24 November 2015.
Pursuant to AR 196(6)(b) trainers Lee and Shannon Hope must not start a
horse in any race from the date of the Board’s decision, 17 November 2015
until, the expiration of the period of disqualification.
Pursuant to AR 177 Windy Citi Bear, Best Suggestion and Choose are
disqualified from their respective races and the places amended accordingly.
Further, the Board orders that the prizemoney held by Racing Victoria since
3 August 2015 be paid to the trainers Lee and Shannon Hope without
deduction within 7 days of today’s date.
MORE TO COME
Lee (right) and Shannon Hope arrive at the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board cobalt inquiry last week. Picture: Andrew BrownbillSource:AAP