Hopes hit with heavy 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 — Windy Citi Bear, Best Suggestion and Choose — returned cobalt levels over the legal level of 200 micrograms.
The Hopes faced a minimum three-year disqualification for intentionally administering cobalt to affect the horses’ performance.
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.
The landmark penalty in Victoria 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.
MORE TO COME
Lee (right) and Shannon Hope arrive at the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board cobalt inquiry last week. Picture: Andrew BrownbillSource:AAP
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