Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie.
Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie.

Trainer cops lengthy ban over cocaine horses

Ben Currie's disqualification period has been increased to seven and a half years after QRIC today handed down its penalty for five prohibited substance charges.

After finding Currie guilty of the five swab irregularities between 2017 and 2019, which included two for cocaine, stewards disqualified Currie for three years and fined him a whopping $45,000.

All five horses were disqualified from their respective races.

Wicked Trilogy was found with meloxicam in its system on 2 December 2017 when it raced at Kilcoy, Shakira was found to have testosterone in excess of the accepted concentration in its system when it raced on 28 January 2018 at Toowoomba, and Karaharaga was found to have 17-methylmorphinan-3-ol in its system when it raced on 6 July 2018 at Rockhampton.

Horse trainer Ben Currie has been disqualified for seven and a half years.
Horse trainer Ben Currie has been disqualified for seven and a half years.

Dreamscope was found to have cocaine and benzolecgonine in its system when it raced at Toowoomba on 16 September 2018 and Eight Over was found to have cocaine, methylecgonine and benzolecgonine in its system when it raced on 2 February 2019 at Toowoomba.

The latest disqualification period is additional to the four and a half years stewards and the Internal Review has already imposed on Currie and will be served at the expiration of those penalties, bringing the total to seven and a half years.

Currie has previously been disqualified for causing race day treatment of an improper action following an investigation into text messages relating to the intention to use an electronic apparatus capable of affecting the performance of two horses.

Currie's father Mark, who is a stated partner in Currie racing, is however permitted to train after striking a plea deal to quash a two year disqualification for race day treatments and instead be given a wholly suspended 12 month suspension and $7500 fine.

Presently, Mark Currie's training license is conditional upon him not training horses formerly trained by Ben Currie, unless the ownership includes himself or his wife Donna.