THE Turf Club yesterday announced the Integrity Racing Statistics for 2009.
The main statistics cover Racecourse Stewards’ Enquiries, Appeals Body and Referrals Committee hearings, drug/alcohol testing of riders, drug testing of horses, licenses issued, non-runners, medical statistics, handicap ratings and off-times.
The key statistics are as follows:- Appeals Body and Referrals Committee hearings were lower at 27, mainly due to a decrease in the number of prohibited substance cases dealt with. The Appeals Body dealt with 9 cases, of which 3 were chaired by an Independent Chairman.
Eighty riders were drug tested and one sample has been confirmed as positive (metabolite of Cannabis). In total 505 riders have been tested since testing was introduced in 2003 and there have been 2 confirmed positive tests.
Alcohol breath testing of riders was carried out on 932 riders at 18 meetings. One test was positive. 2,858 horses were tested for prohibited substances and there were 8 positive results.
The number of apprentice licences issued decreased by 6%, but there was a 10% increase in the number of apprentices indentured for the first time.
The number of trainers holding dual licenses fell by 8%, while the total number of restricted trainers’ licenses rose by 6%. The number of full-time stable employees registered declined by 3%.
Commenting on the figures, Turf Club Chief Executive, Denis Egan, expressed “disappointment at the confirmed positive drug test on a rider and the one positive breath test, particularly in view of the excellent record prior to this.”
In relation to the drug testing of horses, Egan said: “I am disappointed that three of the positive results were wholly avoidable as the substance found in each case had been administered to the wrong horse.”
Commenting on the medical statistics, Egan stated: “It was most pleasing to report that the injury rate per fall in flat racing decreased to its lowest level in the past five years.” He attributed the improvement to the ongoing health and safety procedures being in place.
There was also an improvement in off times with 77% of all races either off on time or within one minute of the scheduled off time.