Two-year ban for harness trainers

Blake Jones has been disqualified for two years. Picture: TARA GOONAN
Blake Jones has been disqualified for two years. Picture: TARA GOONAN

RIVERINA harness racing trainers Blake Jones and Drew Kenna have been disqualified for two years.

Harness Racing NSW stewards handed down the disqualification on Monday after both trainers pleaded guilty to one instance of exceeding the allowable threshold of plasma total carbon dioxide.

The Australian Racing Forensics Laboratory reported that pre-race blood samples taken from Kennedy Creek (Jones) and Eagles Ace (Kenna) at Dubbo on May 25 revealed illegal levels of the natural occurring substance.

In considering the penalty stewards were mindful of the nature of the substance and levels detected and took into account their guilty pleas and personal circumstances.

Neither trainer acknowledged how the drug was administered which HRNSW integrity manager Reid Sanders labelled as “quite concerning”.

“To get the levels that these horses recorded it just can’t get there naturally, but it is the stance they took and the penalties that were issued flow from that,” Sanders said.

“I don’t really know why people take those stances, the evidence is pretty clear that it has to get there with some help.”

Jones and Kenna were both disqualified until May 28, 2016.

Another leading Riverina trainer, Jackson Painting, was disqualified for 27 months in November for a similar offence.