Drug ban may jeopardise filly's career

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<p>QUEENSLAND’S champion filly Gold Edition might be retired early because of the decision to ban the drug hydroxyprogesterone.</p>

<p>Toowoomba trainer Ron Maund said that was a natural conclusion after hearing HPC would be banned from 1 February next year.</p>
<p>&quot;Most of my fillies train on it (HPC) and it keeps them at an even level but I think the new rule will worry others more than me,&quot; Maund said. &quot;It is my belief, even though I don’t know for sure, that most of the big stables use the drug and they train for the big breeders.</p>
<p>&quot;No one really knows what effect it has on a horse like Gold Edition but without it there is a chance her form will suffer.</p>
<p>&quot;As she comes into season it will be hard to stabalise her and that has the effect of shortening racing careers.&quot;</p>
<p>Gold Edition is due to return to full work at Warwick Farm this week with stablemate Ice Chariot and has been in light work on a farm just outside Sydney.</p>
<p>Progesterone is a naturally occurring substance in pregnant females and is used to manage seasonal pains and mood swings in fillies and mares.</p>
<p>&quot;It is a lot worse in the warmer weather &ndash; in the spring and summer &ndash; and I can’t see the sense of following places like Hong Kong down that road,&quot; Maund said.</p>
<p>&quot;Hong Kong and Singapore don’t race a lot of fillies and mares and it seems they are dictating to us.</p>
<p>&quot;In my opinion it will ruin Sydney midweek racing and places that are struggling to get numbers for race meetings. Sydney is already in trouble trying to get full fields. This will only make it worse.&quot;</p>
<p>Maund said he was convinced other high-profile fillies and mares raced on hydroxyprogesterone. He did not have any evidence however to support the claim.</p>
<p>Last December Takeover Target was banned from racing in Hong Kong because he tested positive to hydroxyprogesterone. Trainer Joe Janiak vowed he would never again race in Hong Kong.</p>
<p>While progesterone is a naturally occurring hormone in fillies and mares hydroxyprogesterone is a manufactured substance. It can be distinguished in a laboratory from the real thing by a metabolite.</p>
<p>Gold Edition is due to resume racing in the Concorde Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on 1 September, a race under quality handicap conditions. – Courier Mail.</p>

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