'Shark' to appeal 18-month suspended ban
John 'Shark' Hanlon will appeal the 18-month suspended suspension of his training licence handed down after his Galway Festival winner Camlann tested positive for elevated levels of cobalt at Ballybrit on August 2.
The penalty was dished out by the referrals committee of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) following Wednesday's hearing along with a €7,000 fine, while Hanlon was also ordered to pay costs of €2,000 on behalf of the IHRB.
Cobalt is a substance that while found at low levels in some supplements, is prohibited in a horse on race day when above an internationally-agreed level as it can increase red blood cells, which much like EPO improves metabolic efficiency.
Carlow handler Hanlon stated the horse was receiving an oral supplement which contained cobalt and vitamin B12, but that it was not administered to the horse on race day and that he did not know the source of the adverse analytical finding.
The 18-month suspension was imposed as this was Hanlon's second offence after Diamond Dame tested positive for Lasix following her win at the Listowel Festival two years ago.
Having elected to use its powers to suspend the ban for three years, Hanlon was advised that "should he come to the notice of the referrals committee for a similar breach within three years of today's date, the 18-month suspension will be activated in addition to any further sanction imposed for the later breach".
The committee stated that "the current case in question was serious in nature resulting in a strong argument for the withdrawal of licence from the trainer" but Hanlon has made it clear that he will appeal the decision.
Meanwhile, the John Mulhern Mares Handicap Hurdle (5.10) heads an eight-race jumps card at Ballinrobe where John Patrick Ryan's Presenting Mahler can back up his recent chase success when reverting to the smaller obstacles in the hands of Danny Mullins.
That is not the only action on Irish shores as Dundalk's Friday Night Lights kicks into gear again and Johnny Murtagh's Festina Plente may be best in the Median Auction Maiden (7.30) having run well on the polytrack when second on debut before finishing a close fourth at Down Royal.