Sport

Top jockey stood down after test

Adrian Coome after winning last year’s Tattersall’s Gold Cup in Rockhampton aboard Writer.
Adrian Coome after winning last year’s Tattersall’s Gold Cup in Rockhampton aboard Writer. Chris Ison

PREMIER Rockhampton jockey Adrian Coome stands to lose a small fortune in riding fees and prizemoney percentages after being automatically stood down from race riding over the finding of the presence of an appetite suppressant in his system.

The shock finding, made known to Coome last Friday has already proven expensive as he has forfeited a busy book of race rides at Townsville today as well as eight possible engagements at Rockhampton on Thursday.

Furthermore, Coome is resigned to having to relinquish the prize ride on Mackay filly Doubtfilly, considered one of the top prospects in the $110,000 QTIS 2YO Handicap (1100m) at Doomben on Saturday.

Coome rode the Stuart Kendrick Mackay-trained filly when she won the $110,000 2YO Fillies Handicap (1000m) at Eagle Farm on January 21.

"I'll miss the Doubtfilly ride for sure," a disappointed Coome confirmed yesterday.

Highly acclaimed as a race winning jockey throughout Queensland and now based at Mackay after dual premiership wins as the Rockhampton Jockey Club's lauded hoop, Coome's woes stem from a routine urine sample provided by him at Callaghan Park races on January 12.

"A sample test taken from jockey Coome and analysed by the Racing Analytical Services Laboratory in Melbourne has returned a finding to phentermine which is an appetiser suppressant.

"He is now stood down from riding pending the result of the analysis of the split (second) sample vial," chief Rockhampton steward Luke Collins announced.

He said at the very earliest the result of that swab may not be known until later this week with Coome likely to front a stewards' inquiry next week.

Furthermore, Coome would be required to provide a "clear sample" before being permitted to ride again

Currently sitting in fourth placing on the Queensland Provincial Jockey Premiership listings with 35 such winners behind Dale Missen (46); Damian Browne (36) and Daniel Griffin 35, weight has always been a constant foe of Coome.

"In recent years I haven't had any problems with tests after having some trouble years ago through piss-pills (diuretics). I have been taken something to reduce my appetite," Coome forthrightly admitted yesterday.

Coome is a runaway leader in the current RJC's jockey's premiership with 23 winners some 11 clear of nearest rival Alisha

Taylor. Ironically, on the day that Coome was advised of his misfortune by stewards, their Deagon- based counterparts suspended Brisbane apprentice Mitchell Speers for a calendar month over a positive finding of phentermine.

Jockeys are banned from riding with appetite suppressants; dieuretis and medicated drugs being found in their systems over permitted thresholds.

As Coome commands prized rides on Capricornia and North Queensland tracks, any period of suspension would cost him dearly.

Queensland jockeys are paid $160 a ride (plus GST) as well as earning 5% of prizemoney won by their mounts in excess of $200.

Being stood down from Townsville and Rockhampton races this week could amount to a loss of income in the vicinity of $4000.

Meanwhile, Rockhampton jockey John Stephens has appealed a one month suspension imposed last week which placed the onus of blame on him for causing a race fall involving Brisbane apprentice Justin Wood at Callaghan Park on May 24, 2011.

In a lengthy and sometimes fiery Callaghan Park inquiry last week, Stephens vehemently pleaded his innocence to stewards.

His appeal will be heard by Brisbane's First Level Appeals body.

Star local filly Divine City has returned from a Brisbane campaign after botching the start in a Doomben race last Saturday before powering home for fifth.

A winner of a recent $100,000 3YO race at the Gold Coast, her Bluff based part-owner Val Beak said Divine City would now be spelled.

A large contingent of Central Queenslanders is gearing to attend the Magic Millions QTIS 600 Yearling Sales at the Gold Coast on March 18 and 19 when Divine City's full relation will go-up for auction.

Topics:  appetite suppressant, horse racing, horses, jockey


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