Sydney drug dealers will
be astonished to learn there’s possibly a super resilient strain of cocaine
that might have turned up in a Randwick

Such is the robust nature of this Bolivian marching powder it has,
if trainer Gai Waterhouse is to be taken seriously, just possibly made an
involuntary march from a neighbouring Kingston
watering hole, to somehow end up in a Waterhouse-trained filly’s blood and the
implausible theories are straight out of Ripley’s “Believe it or not”!

In giving evidence to yesterday’s Racing NSW stewards’ inquiry
into how Love You Honey had returned a positive swab to cocaine after finishing
last in a Gosford race on 25 April, Sydney’s
leading trainer had no shortage of theories particularly when it came to
dobbing in a nearby pub.

Waterhouse talked up an “epidemic I didn’t know
existed” as she attempted to rationalise how traces of a narcotic
substance found its way into one of her racehorses. She told stewards while there
was no way she or her staff would have given the nag a snort, her children
alleged to her that the Regent Hotel at Kingston was “a known drug den,”
along with many other establishments her siblings frequented, where Gai claimed
they told her “there are people snorting all around them.”

While this community epidemic came as a complete surprise to the
trainer, she was still able to provide a stable employee Roy Storch, who not
only admitted to twice taking cocaine during his employment, but had himself,
visited the Regent the night before Love You Honey’s Anzac Day slow march to
the winning post!

But while those two occasions were unconnected to that racing
date, Storch volunteered to the stewards he may have inadvertently come into
contact with cocaine.

“It’s no hidden fact that it [cocaine] gets taken on the
premises, in the bathroom,” Storch told the inquiry. He further suggested
that as his stable unit was opposite Love You Honey’s box around the period of
the Anzac Day race; it meant he could have easily come into contact with the
horse at any time.

But how likely is it that a Waterhouse stable hand
or employee could have stepped into a public toilet where cocaine use
took place, picked up some “residue,” innocently transported it back to
the stables, and still managed to retain enough traces of the substance
somehow pass it on to the unwitting filly? Somehow I think even
Sherlock Holmes
would have a good snort on hearing that one!

The inquiry will resume on Friday, but what will the management of
the Regent Hotel at Kingsford have to say about having their
establishment called a “a known drug den” – let alone its toilets
hosting the world’s most resilient cocaine traces?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey