Horses such as trainer Chris Waller’s Junoob in the 2014 group 1 Metropolitan have been disqualified from race wins under the rule. Waller was fined $30,000 but escaped suspension after he explained “human error” led to Junoob being treated with a diuretic within one clear day of the race.
But Endresz said the rule should allow for discretion as it once did. In 1991, Golden Slipper winner Tierce escaped disqualification despite testing positive to the banned drug lignocaine.
“We will very confidently get that rule overturned which then has repercussions for everybody that’s been affected for the last 20 years,” Endresz said.
“Our view was that rule doesn’t embrace any fair and natural justice provisions or discretions to reduce the outcome of that disqualification for third-party rights, so I’m only talking from an owner’s perspective.
“In a lot of instances, trainers get fines and penalties and maybe get suspensions, but there’s a whole range of things that can happen to a trainer that are not as damaging as to what happens to the horse or the owner.”
Endresz, who believes Alligator Blood was ‘nobbled’ by someone who wanted the horse disqualified, said the severity of the rule should be scaled based on the level of the offending.
Altrenogest, which gelding Alligator Blood tested positive to, is used to regulate a mare’s estrous cycle. It is a banned substance in Queensland and Victoria as it contains traces of anabolic steroid, however it is not banned in NSW outside of a clear day of race day.
“We think we can help them revise the [disqualification] rules; we think we can create an AFL, NRL-style program [where] you have a scale of 1-10,” Endresz said.
“If there’s collusion or owners are involved and there are prohibited substances deliberately used, you get a tick of the box No.10; the horse gets disqualified and the owners and trainers get banned.
“But if you’re in a Chris Waller scenario, that you’re down on the bottom of the scale with an admission and the trainer gets a reduced penalty, then the horse shouldn’t be disqualified and the owners get a penalty, not a complete financial loss. It’s not hard to work out a points system for that.”
Endresz said he calls the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission weekly to find out when Vandyke will be given an opportunity to make submissions, but neither he nor the Sunshine Coast trainer have been given an update.
“If it drags on too much longer we might start initiating in the Supreme Court and get things rolling,” he said.
Meanwhile, Endresz said he was close to announcing a deal for Alligator Blood to run in this year’s The Everest.
Damien Ractliffe is the Chief Racing Reporter for The Age.