Godolphin’s strangles case continues

Connor Bennett Roar Guru

By Connor Bennett, Connor Bennett is a Roar Guru & Live Blogger

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    Jockey Glen Boss (left) talks to trainer John O'Shea. (AAP Image/Sergio Dionisio)

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    A tumultuous year for super-stable Godolphin continues to tumble on thanks to an unreported case of strangles from gelding Polemic.

    The incident has seen former Australian boss Henry Plumptre and head trainer John O’Shea charged over the matter, both men having left the wealthy stable this year.

    O’Shea has so far been hit with two charges in regards to not reporting the infectious disease when he became knowledgeable of the case but has pleaded not guilty to both.

    Plumptre, on the other hand, has admitted to knowing of the gelding’s condition and failing to notify the stewards, pleading guilty to one charge.

    The former managing director of Godolphin Australia said he was aware of the case but believed it would have minimal adverse effect at the time.

    “There was a strong reluctance from the training team to report it and I agreed to monitor the colt,” said Plumptre.

    “It’s of great disappointment to me that I failed in this instance.”

    Oddly enough, it was a reported bullying issue that prevented Plumptre from staying on top of the strangles debacle as he tried to juggle internal struggles at the same time.

    “It occurred during the week I was investigating a serious bullying issue at Osborne Park,” he said.

    “At the time, did I consider the bullying issue to be of more importance? The answer would be yes.

    “I acknowledge that would be wrong.”

    Having bailed from a five-year deal with the mega-stable back in May, O’Shea was far less appreciative towards the process, firing up over the fact he was brought in on false evidence charges.

    “I’m extremely disappointed to be even considered to give false evidence,” the former head trainer said.

    “I emphatically deny that.

    “It’s not in my nature to make false or misleading statements.”

    The debacle continues a string of controversy for the stable owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2017.

    Both O’Shea and Plumptre have left under heated circumstances, joining former Global Chief Executive John Ferguson who stepped down following internal pressures from high-profile trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

    Strangles is a respiratory infection in horses, basically swelling up the sinuses and causing extreme breathing difficulties, hence the name.

    The issue with the infection is that it’s extremely contagious and can be spread in numerous ways, meaning a single infected horse can impact a high number of other horses.

    The four-year-old Polemic has the one win to his name from 11 starts, a Maiden Plate win at Gosford in May.

    The case has thus far been adjourned and the Racing NSW stewards will continue in the coming weeks.

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