So is
it true that race horses in Sydney and their handlers are so close that they
share lines of cocaine?

An
absurd statement I hear you all whinny, but consider the statement to an inquiry
into the discovering of cocaine in a sample from a horse trained by Gai
Waterhouse, the city’s leading trainer, at a meeting at Gosford on Anzac day
this year. It’s still unclear just how the cocaine came to be in the system of the
horse.

But
read a report in any of the Sydney-based papers (see the Sydney Morning Herald) today describing Waterhouse’s
appearance at a Racing NSW inquiry yesterday, and you start to wonder about the
relationship between horses and their staff in Sydney stables, especially in and around the Randwick racecourse, in the
rich eastern Suburbs.

According to Waterhouse, coke use is now so pervasive in
Sydney’s East,
that at times it seems to be everywhere – including a hotel near her stables which she said was a
“known drug den.”

She
said it was possible, as indicated by an analysts’ report presented at the
hearing, that the drug could have entered the horse’s system by the inadvertent
contact with someone who had been exposed to cocaine outside her
stable – she says there’s a no drugs policy at her stables.

The
image comes to mind of an employee wandering down to the stables, chatting up a horse which proceeds to nuzzle his
clothes looking for sugar or carrots, as they often do. And hey presto, the horse ingests some coke.

Peter Fray

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