Trainer Ben Smith is all smiles after winning The Inglis Sires with El Dorado Dreaming at Royal Randwick  on April 7. Picture: Mark Evans/Getty Images
Trainer Ben Smith is all smiles after winning The Inglis Sires with El Dorado Dreaming at Royal Randwick on April 7. Picture: Mark Evans/Getty Images

Smith’s spring on hold after stewards raid stable

BEN Smith, trainer of Everest-bound In Her Time, has had his trainer's licence suspended after an investigation by Racing NSW Stewards on Tuesday.

Stewards were acting on irregularities in two swab samples from a pair of Smith-trained horses.

Smith was also charged with refusing to give evidence by not providing the names of the person or people who supplied him with the unidentifiable products found in his stable.

Racing NSW chief steward Marc Van Gestel said: "Myself, Philip Dingwall and two of our investigators confiscated a number of unlabelled and unidentified bottles that were found and they'll go for testing."

Smith was also charged with providing false evidence on two occasions, which he pleaded guilty to, when stewards conducted the stable inspection.

The two horses in question can't be identified until further testing takes place but they won't be Smith's two Group 1 winners, In Her Time and El Dorado Dreaming, because all swabs taken from the autumn carnival were negative.

"He's been suspended indefinitely until the charges are determined," Van Gestel said.

"He can continue to train for seven days then won't be able to train any further but he can't start a horse in a race from this day forward."

Stewards found the unidentified substances in Smith's stables, car and house, and his mobile phone and computer were confiscated for forensic imaging.

Stewards decided to suspend Smith because he posed an "unacceptable risk to the image, interests and integrity of racing".

It's too soon to say if Smith's horses will be transferred to other stables.

But In Her Time can have her scheduled track gallop in between races at Newcastle on Friday only if she is transferred to another stable or Smith appeals and he's allowed to run her in his name.

Trainer Ben Smith with star sprinter In Her Time. Picture: Jenny Evans
Trainer Ben Smith with star sprinter In Her Time. Picture: Jenny Evans

The track gallop was always seen a crucial part to In Her Time's Everest preparations. She's an $11 chance to win the $13 million race on October 13 at Randwick.

"It's an environment that places stress on people," Van Gestel said.

"He still has a right of appeal and that will be there first thing he needs to look at, and if he doesn't, they'll need to look at transferring his horses."

In other Everest news, the ATC confirmed Nature Strip would run in its slot after the boom Darren Weir-trained sprinter smashed the 1000m course record at Mooney Valley in his McEwen Stakes win last Saturday.

Meanwhile, Wednesday is the last day tickets can be bought for The Kosciusko and the 12 slot holders will be drawn out on Friday.

 


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