Leigh Wanless outed on cobalt charge

Mark Oberhardt

Trainer Leigh Wanless has been disqualified for 12 months after Mista Busy returned a positive to cobalt at race meeting in Rockhampton.

Queensland Racing Integrity Commission stewards concluded an inquiry after cobalt was detected in a urine sample taken from Mista Busy on February 16, 2017.

The original inquiry held in August heard extensive evidence from Wanless, his staff and officials from the QRIC Racing Science Centre and the Scientific Manager at Racing Analytical Services Limited.

After considering all the evidence, Wanless, who is based at Gympie, was charged with bringing a horse to race with a prohibited substance.

Chairman of the inquiry, Dan Aurisch, said the specifics were Wanless brought Mista Busy to Rockhampton to run in the QTIS 3YO Maiden (1100 metres) and a post-race urine sample was found to contain a prohibited substance, namely cobalt.

Wanless pleaded not guilty and his legal representative Paul O'Sullivan made submissions in response.

O"Sullivan said of particular concern was that the taking of the urine by the sample collection official was not in accordance with the proper procedures.

After considering the evidence, the stewards were satisfied to the requisite standard that the sample was collected in the correct manner.

Stewards disqualified Wanless for 12 months to expire on April 19, 2019 and Mista Busy was disqualified from his win.

Wanless has a week to decide whether to seek an internal review.