TC02 Scratching – Snaith Supportive Of NHA Measures

TCO2 testing continues to puzzle some

South African champion trainer Justin Snaith is unequivocal in his support of the National Horseracing Authority and their procedures to preserve the integrity of the sport.

“The welfare of our horses is what is most important to me as a trainer,” Snaith told the Sporting Post after being approached for a comment following the scratching of the fancied Be Merry at 12h09 on Sunday by the Clerk Of Scales for reason of ‘Elevated TC02 levels’ from the first race at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth.

Justin Snaith – ‘initiative warrants support ‘ (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

“I welcome all and any testing that can help protect our thoroughbreds. This testing is being done with that goal in mind. I am sure there will be some tweaks and amendments to the testing protocol and procedures as the NHA gets more of these tests under its belt,” he added.

“I know our withdrawn filly, in a third test taken ten minutes after she was scratched, tested below the threshold. So presumably it is still a bit of a learning curve. That said, this initiative is to be applauded and supported,” added Snaith shortly after saddling Un Bel Di to a runaway victory in the fourth.

Touted as a means of safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders, riders, and horses, the National Horseracing Authority introduced a new specimen analysis procedure for TCO2 measurement on a race day on 16 March 2024.

The TCO2 (total carbon dioxide) test is performed on the blood of racehorses as a means of combatting the practice of administering alkalizing agents for the purpose of enhancing performance.

The introduction has not been without teething issues and resistance, and the withdrawal of Main Defender on Saturday at Hollywoodbets Greyville from the IOS Gr2 Drill Hall Stakes led to some shocking scenes at the Durban City track, and the eventual abandonment of the racemeeting.

As Justin Snaith suggests, some tweaks and amendments to the testing protocol and procedures may well be necessary as the control process is developed.


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