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YANKEE ROSE’S trainer David Vandyke has been hit with a $25,000 fine and the horse has been disqualified from the Group One Flight Stakes after returning a positive test to banned anti-inflammatory Ketorolac.

AAP reports that Vandyke pleaded guilty at a Racing NSW stewards' inquiry on Friday to allowing Ketorolac to be administered to Yankee Rose and presenting the horse with a prohibited substance on race day.

Yankee Rose's owners will have to forfeit the $99,000 prize money won from the race at Randwick on October 1, while the Chris Waller-trained Sezanne has been promoted to second place.

Vandyke said he would consider appealing the penalty.

"It's disappointing to lose a second in a Group One for the owners and myself and obviously disappointing to get fined," Vandyke said.

Yankee Rose was being treated for fetlock soreness which she has suffered from throughout her career.

Veterinarian David Garth was also fined $15,000 for administering the drug which he said was injected into Yankee Rose's joints eight days before the race, one day more than the required seven.

"I asked him to give an extra day because I didn't want to end up in this sort of situation," Vandyke told the hearing.

Racing NSW senior veterinarian Craig Suann said he was not familiar with Ketorolac being used on horses with the drug primarily used to treat humans.

But Garth said he had used it successfully on racehorses while working in Victoria and knew of its use in other jurisdictions.

Garth's explanation for the positive centred on Yankee Rose eating straw in her box contaminated with her urine.

"Yankee Rose is the first that I have treated that has been kept on straw," Garth said.

"She was eating quite a lot of straw in her box and (Ketorolac) is excreted in the urine."

Vandyke said he had complete faith in Garth's ability to treat the horse while she was stabled in Sydney after being brought down from his Sunshine Coast base.

"I pretty much left the ball in his court in respect to looking after the filly," Vandyke said.

Chief steward Marc Van Gestel said Vandyke's 2015 presentation charge for Ipratropium for which he was fined $12,000 was taken into account.

"The treatment is somewhat unconventional and not without risk and therefore this does aggravate the penalty," Van Gestel said.




OUR SPY in the BREAKFAST CREEK BUNKER – you might remember that Integrity was moved away from DEAGON – has sent us another report on what is happening behind the scenes.

DOWN here on the river at the Racing Queensland Integrity Bunker they are calling it a victory of Steven Bradbury-like proportions.

Ian Brown, the bolter of the field, has come from behind to blouse the more highly qualified and fancied candidates for the job of Director of Integrity.

We haven’t been officially told what has happened to Jamie Dart, who survived the greyhound live baiting scandal when he was chief steward at the dogs, only to be elevated to the new and more important role of Director of Integrity for the newly established Commission.

Well, as most would be aware, Jamie hit an unexpected hurdle – details of which remain undisclosed – and was stood down pending the outcome of an independent investigation. Well informed sources are whispering behind the scenes that he won’t be returning.

Extra weight was added to that theory when an email did the rounds from the Head Honcho last Friday advising that Mrs Brown’s Boy Ian had been appointed Acting Director of Integrity at RQ.

Brown is the fourth ‘acting director’ we have had in the last six months and they have included Wade Birch (services dispensed with), David Farquharson (currently stood down as Chief Steward of Harness Racing pending the outcome of an internal investigation) and Ali Wade (the licensing and registrations manager who was moved to the role after Jamie Dart hit his hurdle).

What some within the Integrity Bunker are finding difficult to understand is the appointment process. It came as a surprise to most when Jamie Dart was appointed Director of Integrity. The field he beat for the job included Ian Brown, Reid Sanders and Martin Knibbs. When it comes to experience (in Australia and overseas) Sanders and Knibbs were head and shoulders ahead in qualifications. But Dart got the job.

Now, it is no secret in the Bunker that a veteran steward threatened to resign if Sanders was given the job – apparently there was some bad blood between the pair from way back when they worked together in Queensland. Many would have been happy had they called his bluff and sent him home with his ‘little lunch’ which is personally delivered on race days.

Dart was no longer in the role than he was stood down and Ms Wade took over in an acting capacity. One would have thought that either Knibbs or Sanders were best qualified as the replacement if it was decided Dart would not return to the job. Instead the lesser experienced Brown somehow has been elevated to the role.

One day after the email arrived informing us that Brown was the acting Director of Stewarding he still works on the stewards’ panel on Magic Millions Day. For those who are unfamiliar with Brown’s background, he has been Chief Steward at the Gold Coast since returning from a similar role in North Queensland. He quit a law career (he is a qualified solicitor) to pursue a career as a steward with Racing Queensland.

Interestingly, for those who read the Stewards’ Reports, Brown did not officiate in Race 4 on the Magic Millions card at the Gold Coast. It states that he did not take part in deliberations in the protest hearing following this race but doesn’t explain why. It was because he is related by marriage to one of the part-owners of runner-up Feltre which protested unsuccessfully.

For those of us in the Bunker who continue to be bewildered by how things are done by the powers-that-be I guess all we can do is wish Browny the best of British inheriting the poisoned chalice. It’s not as though he doesn’t have the ability to do the job well.

As for ‘The Colonel’ well it seems his papers have been marked never to return to the Sunshine State. That leaves Marty Knibbs, whose ability warrants a better fate. Hopefully they are saving the best appointment for last and when old Al is finally put out to pasture – it will be long overdue in June – then they don’t have to look elsewhere and realize the best man for the job has been sitting right under their noses for ages.




AUSTRALIAN racing's fairytale filly which chased Winx into third in the Cox Plate has been dragged into a drug probe after returning a positive swab to a banned substance during the spring carnival.

ADAM PENGILLY reports for FAIRFAX MEDIA that stewards on Monday announced Yankee Rose, which beat all bar Australia's wonder mare and Godolphin gun Hartnell in the Cox Plate, tested positive to an illegal drug in what looms as a test case of Racing NSW's handling of licensed veterinarians.

The irregularity stems from when Yankee Rose ran second in the group 1 Flight Stakes at Randwick on October 1, seven days before she came out and won the Spring Champion Stakes and etched her name into the record books as the first filly to claim the race. 

The Spring Champion Stakes was her last hitout before being pipped for second by Hartnell in a spine-tingling Cox Plate.

"Stewards have advised me that a swab sample taken from Yankee Rose following her second in the Flight Stakes has come back positive to Ketorolac," Yankee Rose's trainer David Vandyke said in a statement provided to Fairfax Media.

"This medication was prescribed and administered by a licensed veterinarian who treated Yankee Rose. As the inquiry is ongoing, I will not make any further comment at this time."

Vandyke has been asked to front a stewards’ hearing on Friday.

Yankee Rose is all but certain to lose her second placing - and her mum-and-dad owners the lion's share of the $99,000 second prize money - which was accrued in the race where she ran second to Global Glamour.

But the inquiry could be a precedent in how Racing NSW deals with cases such as Yankee Rose's in the future given Vandyke, who is now based on the Sunshine Coast, had travelled the horse to Sydney for the race and she was treated by a veterinarian licensed by the state's controlling body.

Racing NSW waged a long-standing and at times bitter fight to license veterinarians to regulate them under the rules of racing, which was implemented in September 2015.

It's understood Yankee Rose was prescribed Ketorolac a week before running in the Flight Stakes - much longer than the commonly used withholding period of three clear days adopted by many veterinary practices around Australia.

Ketorolac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug and a case as recently as two months ago was heard in Queensland where its use was central to an inquiry after it was detected in a Kelly Purdy horse which finished third in a Gold Coast race in August.

Purdy was fined $3000 by Queensland Racing Integrity Commission stewards.

Yankee Rose is considered one of the most popular horses in Australia after high-flying syndicator Scott Darby forked out just $10,000 for her as a yearling before inviting a number of first-time owners to race the horse. 

They rebuffed a multi-million dollar offer to sell the horse after the filly ran second in the Golden Slipper and won the subsequent Sires Produce Stakes earlier this year and she has now banked more than $2.1 million in prize money.

Darby Racing has unearthed another hidden gem in next year's Golden Slipper second favourite She Will Reign, which cost just $20,000 and thrashed her Inglis Nursery rivals in the $500,000 sprint at Randwick recently.




THE national racing spotlight may have been on the Gold Coast and the Magic Millions but the last at Morphettville Parks was a talking point for all the wrong reasons.

Jockey Josh Cartwright has been charged by South Australian stewards with intentionally making contact with other runners during a serious incident which can be viewed on the TSRA website.

Cartwright, riding the $81 outsider Senior Council, shifted out abruptly in the straight causing severe interference to Go The Journey and House Of Wax, with jockey Jason Holder lucky to stay aboard House Of Wax after becoming unseated for three strides. 

Cartwright pleaded guilty to a charge under AR 137(a) alleging reckless riding and was stood down immediately while stewards adjourned the matter to give further consideration to penalty. 

Stewards alleged that Cartwright had 'directed and rode his mount outwards in a reckless manner at an acute angle with the intention of making contact with runners to his outside'.

The race was won by $4.40 favorite Murti, ridden by apprentice Anna Jordsjo. Cartwright had ridden this horse at its previous start when second.



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