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Perth trip on despite Sandown scratching

John Sadler is at the centre of an inquiry after Observational returned a high level of bicarb.

John Sadler is adamant Observational has never been treated outside the rules of racing despite an inquiry into the horse’s elevated bicarb level and the trainer has sent him to Perth as scheduled for Group One races.

Sadler is facing two inquiries stemming from Observational’s scratching by Racing Victoria stewards from the Group Three Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on Saturday.

The stewards are inquiring into the 36.4 millimoles per litre of plasma TC02 reading taken from Observational in an out-of-competition test on Friday afternoon which they allege could have resulted from treatment within one clear day of Saturday’s race which would constitute race day treatment.

Sadler is also alleged to have made threats directed towards chief steward Terry Bailey and deputy Robert Cram.

“I did not make any threatening remarks,” Sadler told radio station RSN927.

“There is no doubt I’ve got a short fuse at times but I would never harm anyone physically ever.”

Sadler says Observational was given electrolytes and bi-carb on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as the gelding suffers azoturia, commonly known as tying-up.

He said what Observational was administered was clearly written in his veterinary treatment book for stewards to see.

Sadler took a phone call from Bailey on Saturday morning to say stewards were concerned about the horse’s TC02 level and that he and the rest of the panel would give thought to whether to scratch Observational.

“First of all he wanted to know if he’d been treated after Thursday,” Sadler said.

“I told him he hadn’t.

“When the results came through of that test he was 36.4, which is pretty high, but it was on the Friday and allowing for the one you get off (measure of uncertainty), he was still under the legal limit.

“They rang me to tell me they were scratching him and I was pretty irate.

“I probably said a few things I regret saying but I have no regrets as to my treatment of the horse.”

Sadler said he wanted to take Observational to Sandown to be tested on course, but was denied.

Observational was due to run at Sandown as Sadler wanted to see how the gelding was performing ahead of his trip to Perth.

He said Observational had travelled as scheduled to Perth where he will run in the Railway Stakes on Saturday and hopefully the Kingston Stakes Stakes a fortnight later.

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