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Melbourne Cup winner faces stewards investigation

Melbourne Cup-winning jockey turned trainer Chris Munce is facing a stewards’ investigation after a no-notice stable inspection and CCTV stable footage revealed alleged evidence of one of his Saturday runners being injected within one clear day of racing.Four-year-old Lady Brahmos had been the $3.10 favourite for the No Metro Wins Handicap at Eagle Farm on…

Melbourne Cup-winning jockey turned trainer Chris Munce is facing a stewards’ investigation after a no-notice stable inspection and CCTV stable footage revealed alleged evidence of one of his Saturday runners being injected within one clear day of racing.

Four-year-old Lady Brahmos had been the $3.10 favourite for the No Metro Wins Handicap at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Stewards arrived at Munce’s Brisbane stables unannounced on Friday and allegedly found evidence of the horse being recently injected, according to the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission.

CCTV footage from Munce’s stable which shows the trainer and a stablehand with the horse on Friday morning is also central to the stewards’ case.

Rules of racing state horses must not be injected with anything within one clear day of racing without permission of stewards.

Lady Brahmos was scratched at 6.55pm on Friday night.

“The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Integrity Investigations Team (IIT) inspection at the Munce stables allegedly found Lady Brahmos to have recently received an injection in contravention of the rules of racing,” the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission said.

Munce was interviewed via phone link by stewards at Eagle Farm on Saturday, as the stipes awaited an analysis of swabs taken from the horse.

In the stewards hearing, Munce claimed ignorance about racing’s one clear-day rule but admitted giving Lady Brahmos a vitamin drip on Friday.

Steward Wade Hadley asked Munce if that meant all of his horses had been given drips in the day before racing.

Munce said he had only treated Lady Brahmos because he had been ill on Thursday and gone home sick and then felt the mare needed a vitamin drip on Friday.

Munce further claimed he was confused when he was initially interviewed by stewards about the matter on Friday.

The drama follows Munce having his name recently published on the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission website for one of his horses recording a TCO2 level above 35.1 mmol/L.

A natural TCO2 level for horses is 28-32 millimoles per litre (mmol/L) in blood, but under the rules of racing, a test needs to exceed 36 before it’s deemed to be illegal.

QRIC published Munce galloper Skate To Paris as having a level higher than 35.1 on the day the mate won the Listed Brisbane Handicap last month.

Borderline TCO2 tests results are now published on the QRIC website – as they once were on the Racing Queensland website under a previous RQ administration.

QRIC commenced publishing the TCO2 levels in response to a push sparked by a group of Brisbane trainers, including multiple Group 1 winner Rob Heathcote, who spoke out to Racenet over integrity concerns earlier this year.

In 2015, Munce hung up his riding saddle after a 30-year career in which he became one of a small band of jockeys to complete the grand slam with wins in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper.

His 1998 Melbourne Cup win on Jezabeel and the 2004 Cox Plate on Savabeel were two of his most cherished riding wins.

Munce’s career didn’t come without major challenges – jailed over the tips for bets scandal in Hong Kong and then surviving a battle against throat cancer.

Munce commenced training in Brisbane soon after retiring from riding – some of his biggest wins as a trainer have come with Boomsara who won the 2019 Gold Coast Magic Millions 3YO Guineas and the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate the year before.

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