Smyth outed for two years over ?bute

By TONY McMAHON ? THE sometimes brilliant but often controversial training career of Rockhampton's Kerrod Smyth reached its lowest ebb yesterday when he was disqualifed from racing for two years.

Smyth appeared before inquiry chief, the Brisbane barrister Tim Ryan, to explain the finding of a prohibited substance in Fire Ant, his May 12 Callaghan Park winner.

The blood sample from Fire Ant was confirmed by two laboratories to contain phenylbutazone, the anti-inflammatory drug commonly referred to as "bute''. Ryan charged Smyth under AR178 with engaging Fire Ant to race when it was subsequently detected to have contained a drug in its system.

The barrister said Smyth was not charged with administering a drug to Fire Ant but sought at length an explanation as to its presence.

Smyth said Fire Ant had been stabled at his Alton Downs complex alongside his son's 16-yearold galloway Roxie.

"Roxie fell in the float coming home from the Baralaba Show on May 7 and I treated it with Butalone (product name) that night. Roxie lived alongside Fire Ant and they huddled together in the corners of adjoining stalls. I treated Roxie twice and subsequently noticed some weeks later it had a habit of chewing feed and spitting it out,'' Smyth said.

He suggested Fire Ant could have eaten some of Roxie's spatout contaminated food.

Ryan told Smyth he found the possibilities of that explanation "remote''.

Prosecuting Brisbane steward Cathy O'Pray told Ryan that Smyth had incurred 11 breaches in relation to the findings of banned subsequences in his horses dating back to 1993.

Smyth said he had no drug breaches in his previous 14 years as a trainer dating to 1979.

"Other offences have been related to a sandfly linament, a cough elixir and incorrect advice from vets. In the main I copped the penalities on the chin,'' Smyth said.

"I love the world of racehorses and don't want people thinking I hit horses for monetary gain.''

In handing down the two years' disqualification, Ryan told Smyth his previous record did not allow for leniency.

Ryan said owners, trainers and punters needed confidence in the integrity of racing whereby all horses were competing on equal terms (drug-free).

"You should have moved heaven and earth to ensure about the potential circumstances and learnt from your lessons before.

The problem for you Mr Smyth is your management was inadequate,'' Ryan said.

Smyth anticipated a disqualification and earlier had transferred stable horses to trainer Tony Crane.

Smyth indicated he was quitting racing and would not appeal.

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