South Africa

Tony Peter runners withdrawn from Summer Cup meeting

Tony Peter

Shock move follows raid on trainer’s yard at Turffontein.

Controversy rocked the Betway Summer Cup race meeting at Turffontein when trainer Tony Peter’s horses were withdrawn from their races on the day following a stipendiary stewards’ investigation.

This followed an “incident” involving the National Horseracing Authority’s chief investigator at the Peter stables at Turffontein in the hours before the start of the meeting.

Peter-trained juvenile filly Almond Sea won Race 1 on the card by 5.25 lengths and the trainer did not have a runner in Race 2.

Minutes before Race 3 was due to be run, with Peter’s Street Art in the lineup, it was announced that all his remaining 11 runners on the day had been withdrawn from competition.

These included the star four-year-old Main Defender, who was an odds-on chance to win Race 4, the Grade 3 New Turf Carriers Merchants – and a banker for the vast majority of punters trying to win a bumper R12-million Pick 6.

Also scratched were Peter’s two candidates in the Grade 1 R5-million Summer Cup, Meridius and Electric Gold.

Visit to Peter yard

Chief stipendiary steward Arnold Hyde said the NHA chief investigator had paid an inspection visit to the Peter yard. He had collected video evidence and provided verbal evidence to his colleagues following an incident during the visit.

The stipes then took their shock decision, which was announced to the large, festive crowd at Joburg’s biggest horse race.

In September, three Peter horses were suspended from racing for a period following dope-test raids on Highveld training centres. The issue then was intra-articular treatment – injections into horses’ joints in the days leading up to competition. The prohibited substance Lidocaine was detected in the blood of two of the horses.

The NHA also said veterinary treatments had not been properly recorded.

The NHA then saw fit to introduce a new law covering joint injections in the wake of these events.

A hearing on the matter was held in mid-October but it has not yet been resolved.

Hyde refused to say whether Saturday’s developments had any link to the earlier case involving Peter.