Talented stayer Junoob has been stripped of his win in the 2014 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) and trainer Chris Waller has been fined $30,000 after the six-year-old returned a positive swab following the comfortable victory.
Jumping from the gates well, Junoob settled in prime position on the heels of The Metropolitan’s early leaders, receiving an ideal run in transit and finding the fore of the pack early in the final straight; extending to hit the line half a length ahead of Opinion; a brave Araldo running on for third a further length away.
Have progressed to seventh position in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and a somewhat forgettable eighteenth in the Melbourne Cup (3200m) most recently, Junoob tested positively for frusemide; commonly known as Lasix, a substance used to stop bleeding during running.
Deputy Chief steward for Racing NSW, Greg Rudolph told AAP the fine of $30,000 handed down to Waller may be the largest handed down in Australian racing history.
“It’s probably the largest monetary penalty that’s been handed down for a positive swab in NSW, if not Australia,” Rudolph said.
Securing eleven wins and a further eight minor places over his 33 start career so far, Junoob began his racing career under the guidance of leading British trainer Jim Dunlop in 2011; passing through the stables of Amy Weaver and Tom Dascombe on his way to the care of Waller partway through 2013.
With Junoob’s disqualification, stable mate Opinion has now been confirmed as a maiden Group 1 winner, substantially increasing his value prize pool earnings and overcall worth.
Adding a sixth race win to a career that has also included five minor places over a total of 26 competitive starts in being awarded the 2014 Metropolitan Handicap victory, Opinion also began his racing career in Britain; under the care of trainer Sir Michael Stoute before arriving in Australia in September 2013.
Unlucky not to break through for a maiden Group 1 victory over an impressive autumn campaign this year, the Oasis Dream gelding won the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m) and finished second in each of the Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m), Group 3 NE Manion Cup (2400m) and Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) most notably.