The jockey of beaten favourite, Howmuchdoyouloveme, Brenton Avdulla with trainer Con Karakatsanis.BRILLIANT Sydney sprinter Howmuchdoyouloveme was the talk of Flemington on Saturday for all the wrong reasons.
The hulking speedster was at the centre of a doping scandal just hours before being sensationally beaten as favourite in the Yellowglen Stakes.
Racing Victoria stewards’ compliance and regulation manager, Kane Ashby, on Saturday morning conducted a random inspection of the stables of Flemington trainer Steve Richards, where trainer Con Karakatsanis had Howmuchdoyouloveme stabled, and discovered equipment used for stomach tubing a horse in a plastic feed bag in the horse’s stall.
But stewards could not determine that there was any evidence the horse had been illegally treated during an initial inquiry, and allowed the horse to run.
”We have some concerns on this matter but we wish to adjourn the matter to a later date as there is insufficient evidence that the horse has been treated,” chief steward Terry Bailey said.
Karakatsanis and his father and stablehand, Tony, were summoned by stewards on arrival at the course and asked to explain why the tubing gear was found in the horse’s box.
But both men denied any wrongdoing.
Tony Karakatsanis gave evidence that he had picked up the bag by mistake.
He said he had meant to pick up an identical bag that contained a biscuit of hay to prepare a feed for the horse when he returned to the stable after the race, but stewards were concerned that the gear was there to be used for an illegal race-day treatment.
”I thought it contained a biscuit of hay, I simply picked up the wrong bag. The horse had a bicarb level of 33.2 yesterday, why would I risk it [an illegal reading?” he said.
”There was no intention whatsoever to treat him.”
Stewards have the power to scratch a horse they believe may have been treated on race day, but could not confirm that Howmuchdoyouloveme had been treated.
As news of the discovery filtered through to punters, Howmuchdoyouloveme began to drift in betting from his opening quote of $2.30 out to $3.60. Despite beginning brilliantly and finding the lead, the sprinter found little and weakened to run eighth.
Con and Tony Karakatsanis will have to appear before a stewards inquiry at a later date.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.