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21 Oct 21 17:25
Date Joined: 18 Feb 02
| Topic/replies: 3,262 | Blogger: mrcombustible's blog
Didn't John have trouble with staff and drugs in the past?
By Chris Cook, Senior reporter
UPDATED 5:15PM, OCT 21 2021
Franconia has been disqualified from a Listed race she won at Newbury last year, having tested positive for ketamine which, a disciplinary panel has accepted, probably derived from recreational use of the drug by her groom.

John Gosden, her trainer, was fined the unusually low sum of £500 by the panel, which decided he had taken precautions to avoid such an eventuality but could conceivably have done more.

Presenting the BHA's case, Tomas Nolan described how investigators were initially baffled as to the cause, ketamine being a powerful anaesthetic generally confined to veterinary clinics and not found in racing yards. Gosden said it was never used at his Clarehaven stables in Newmarket.

But, some weeks into the investigation, a staff member came forward to admit recreational ketamine use, which he said was confined to his weekends off. He was described by Gosden as a "vulnerable person" who had come into his employ as "a man in a bit of a muddle" and the panel directed that in the circumstances he should not be named.

The groom said he took care to wash himself and his clothes between using the drug and returning to his job, but had sometimes kept ketamine in his wallet, which he had taken with him and used on the trip to Newbury.

Nolan explained: "The individual believes there would have been residue in their wallet and that, as they used this wallet on the day of the positive, there was an opportunity for this residue to transfer to their hands and therefore into the system of Franconia."

Franconia wins the Listed Abingdon Stakes at Newbury in June last year
Franconia wins the Listed Abingdon Stakes at Newbury in June last year
Edward Whitaker (
Nolan said the BHA had consulted with an expert pharmacologist as to whether this could be a plausible cause of the positive test and was told that it could. The expert, he said, had "concluded the level found in this horse could be caused by coming into contact with only one 50th of the 25mg amount which is apparently commonly snorted by human users".

Gosden said he had been gratified by the groom's frankness in coming forward to confess their occasional habit. Asked what disciplinary action he had taken, the trainer said: "I should probably have fired him. Maybe I should have done.

"But he could have lied and denied and no one would have been any the wiser. It was the fact that he was open and we solved the whole case, if you like, that I felt in the end he had been honourable. He'd made a stupid mistake but he didn't try to do anything wicked.

BHA handling second case about weighing room behaviour towards a female jockey

"I stood by him and will continue to do so. He seems quite content at the moment, maybe a little too happy-go-lucky. But suspending him wouldn't help, that becomes public, everyone knows who he is. Firing him, I don't think is right. What do I do? Do I cut his pay, I don't think that's right either. Maybe I'm too soft."

The panel chairman, Philip Curl, said: "We wish to acknowledge Mr Gosden's yard is well run and efficient. We also wish to commend him for all the co-operation he gave to the BHA in getting to the bottom of this matter.

"We conclude that, whilst in this particular case, Mr Gosden has used most reasonable precautions, we do not feel that he has proved that he used all reasonable precautions. We will spell out in the reasons [to be published in the coming days] some additional precautions we consider ought to have been taken."
Pause Switch to Standard View John Gosden fined after ketamine used...
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Report knoxville October 21, 2021 5:28 PM BST
up there with 'the dog ate my homework' excuse!
absolute nonsense
Report wroughtironronn October 21, 2021 5:36 PM BST
Mr Gosden seems to have a charmed life when it comes to Stewards
Report mrcombustible October 21, 2021 5:40 PM BST
Very similar to Oisin sleeping with a coke head.
Report scrabbler October 21, 2021 5:45 PM BST
About as plausible as Oisin and the cocaine contamination. As an anesthetic presumably it will act as a pain killer ?
Report knoxville October 21, 2021 5:48 PM BST
imagine the outcry if these ridiculous excuses were offered and accepted in criminal courts
Report handtorofe October 21, 2021 5:54 PM BST
Took it going to Newbury races very likelyLaugh
Report geoff m October 21, 2021 6:07 PM BST
Unbelievable Jeff!!
Report ----you-have-to-laugh--- October 21, 2021 6:41 PM BST
Gosden replacing Bob mortiner
on popular bbc panel gamr
Report mrcombustible October 21, 2021 6:42 PM BST
Wonder what Jim Bolger's opinion on this is?
Report blackbarn October 21, 2021 7:48 PM BST
No idiot would use Ketamine to enhance the racing performance of a racehorse. Do some research. Ah-ha - perhaps the plan was to stop it and it didnt work. Cool
Report carrot1960 October 21, 2021 8:06 PM BST
It's not what happens it's who you are that counts
Report geordie1956 October 21, 2021 8:06 PM BST
another slap on the wrist for a big name trainer ...
Report ballyregan October 21, 2021 8:07 PM BST
costner was exceptional in the untouchables
Report 11kv October 21, 2021 8:09 PM BST
Perhaps the horse was depressed.
Report blackbarn October 21, 2021 8:12 PM BST
The horse won!!!    What bit of this don't you agree with. R

eading from the pharmacology report, Gosden said he had been impressed by the sensitivity of the testing equipment. "It was apparently 270 to 400 picograms that were picked up," he said. "One picogram is one trillionth of one gram."

The quantity involved was clearly not enough to have an effect on Franconia, as the Newbury performance was the second best of her five-race career. Gosden ridiculed any idea that he might have intended to dose a horse with ketamine.

"It creates a sort of trance-like state in human beings," he said, "and in a horse, if you give enough to affect them, they would immediately lose co-ordination and no doubt would have a terrible accident. So it's not the kind of thing you'd want anywhere near a horse, except in a clinic as anaesthetic."
Report ballyregan October 21, 2021 8:39 PM BST
yes 11kv someone will do a programme for horses depression soon they are doing it for all the other issues racing has to overcome.
Report Rico-Dangleflaps October 21, 2021 8:44 PM BST
a forum 1st.

i conker wiv noxy.
Report elisjohn October 21, 2021 8:56 PM BST
not a bad performance that having wonderful tonight back in 4th
Report LoyalHoncho October 21, 2021 9:11 PM BST
----you-have-to-laugh---21 Oct 21 17:41
Laugh  Laugh  Laugh
Report driver2 October 22, 2021 3:20 AM BST
Gosden should have fired the groom and not left his credibility in doubt. He might have only been fined £500, but the high profile owners have lost £17,000 and must be horrified that a happy-go-lucky junkie can get anywhere near their horses.
Report chewy11 October 22, 2021 8:02 AM BST
If the groom had said he was using Keatmine to deal with the systemic bullying in racing his story would have been a lot more plausible to me.
Report shoodacoodadidnt October 22, 2021 9:34 AM BST
"probably derived from recreational use of the drug by her groom." - hilarious and nonsense
Report chewy11 October 22, 2021 9:40 AM BST
Explaining how the filly had knocked 14 seconds off the 5f course record at Ascot Mr Godsend said that as a reward for the groom’s honesty in another failed drugs test case he was taken to the Breeders Cup meeting in America. However being an inveterate junkie the lad had let Mr Godsend down by first trying & then buying a Kilo of Crystal Meth.

To smuggle the drugs in the UK the groom put the package up the filly’s bottom. It is believed that during the passage (pardon the pun) from America residue from the outside of the package entered the horse’s system resulting in the scintillating performance that day at Ascot, although he’d always thought her “quite a nice horse”.

The groom has since left Mr Godsend’s employ & having spent several months playing the Harmonica outside Waitrose on Newmarket High St, he is now believed to be working in Ireland.

The committee accepted Mr Godsend’s explanation without question & wished him luck in the future.
Report mrcombustible October 22, 2021 11:45 AM BST
John Gosden takes a swipe at BBC negativity in drugs row
John Gosden: fined £500 following a BHA hearing into Franconia's failed drugs test
John Gosden: fined £500 following a BHA hearing into Franconia's failed drugs test
Edward Whitaker (
1 of 1
By Andrew Dietz
10:53AM, OCT 22 2021
John Gosden has taken a swipe at the BBC for its "negative" stance towards horseracing the day after he accused the broadcaster of putting a stain on his character in its reporting of his filly Franconia's positive test for ketamine.

The multiple British champion Flat trainer appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Friday morning to discuss the BHA case concerning the disqualification of Franconia from a Listed race she  won at Newbury last year following the positive test.

When asked by BBC presenter Garry Richardson whether he felt there is a problem with drugs in racing, Gosden said: "I think there's a problem in this country and many others and I think the use of recreational drugs is endemic.

"Racing is a huge multi-billion-pound industry that is very well regulated and a big subscriber to the Treasury. The horseracing here is of the highest standard in the world and is something to be proud of, it's a good part of UK plc, and to that extent I don't understand why the BBC tend to want to be negative about it all the time, I'm afraid."

Richardson responded by saying the BBC reported the positive test "exactly the same as we would with any sports man, woman or anything else" and that he was grateful for Gosden explaining why it had happened.

John Gosden fined after ketamine used by groom led to Listed winner failing test

At a BHA hearing on Thursday, the disciplinary panel ruled that Franconia's positive ketamine test probably derived from recreational use of the drug by her groom.

Gosden was fined £500 by the panel, which decided he had taken precautions to avoid such an eventuality but could conceivably have done more.

During the hearing, Gosden deplored a report on Thursday's Today programme on BBC Radio 4, speculating his licence might be suspended on the basis only of the fact that ketamine had been found in Franconia.

"Due to the recent case of bullying and the Bryony Frost issue, now racing has become the next scapegoat," Gosden told the panel. "My name was up as having given ketamine to a racehorse, champion trainer looking at a potentially lengthy ban, it was very dramatic stuff on Radio 4.

"Everybody who won't bother to read the result of this inquiry will all assume that I go round giving ketamine to horses to make them win races. I can tell you it was pretty shocking to listen to. It puts a stain on your character."
Report Jumping-cuckoo-monk October 22, 2021 1:26 PM BST
Very good chewy Laugh
Report 1st time poster October 22, 2021 2:19 PM BST
if gosden is to believed the only things in his yard not getting drugs are the horses, jockeys,grooms
why is he so relaxed about have people who take drugs in his yard,if nothing else must make them all ewide open to be exploited /blackmailed etc in to doing something underhand
Report LoyalHoncho October 22, 2021 3:41 PM BST
yep - very funny chewyLaugh
Mr Godsend!  lol.
Report sparrow October 22, 2021 3:47 PM BST
Or even Saint John of Gosden.
Report LoyalHoncho October 22, 2021 3:55 PM BST
Report LoyalHoncho October 22, 2021 3:57 PM BST
He's on video record of saying categorically that the use of lasix on horses in America "weakens the breed" so he should know what persistent use of a class drug will do to the performance of a stablehand.  Surely.
Report mrcombustible October 22, 2021 6:48 PM BST
Gosden is untouchable. Havlin took the rap in this blatant race.
y Andrew Dietz and Tom Collins
UPDATED 2:45PM, APR 22 2021
Robert Havlin was suspended for 21 days at Lingfield on Wednesday for his ride on Stowell, who was a fast-finishing second to stablemate and 2-9 favourite Polling Day.

In a race which stirred much debate, 16-1 newcomer Stowell finished strongly under Havlin behind the John and Thady Gosden-trained Polling Day in the 1m4f novice contest, having run into traffic problems behind the retreating front-running pair of Scampi and Reverend Hubert turning for home.

Following a lengthy inquiry, the stewards suspended Havlin for "failing to take all reasonable and permissible measures to ensure Stowell obtained his best possible placing, in that after getting a clear run in the straight, the colt had not been asked for a sufficient effort".

Havlin told the stewards his instructions were to settle Stowell and ride him to obtain his best possible position, adding the colt was a fragile type who had a high knee action and that John Gosden had instructed him to ride under hands and heels and not to use his whip.

Havlin said his mount ran on well inside the final half furlong and stated, in his opinion, the winner was idling in front and therefore it appeared the runner-up had finished faster than he actually had. 

The trainers' representative stated he was happy with the ride, it accorded with the instructions given and they were very pleased with Stowell's debut effort.

Havlin, who plays a key role at the Gosden stable, is set to miss a major part of the early season, with his ban covering the dates May 5-8 and 10-26.

Polling Day, an expensive Derby entry, was Frankie Dettori's first ride at Lingfield since October 29 last year.

The in-running comment
Chased leaders, not clear run on inner home turn, in the clear and shaken up over 1f out, went second and 5 lengths down 1f out, tenderly handled and kept on strongly final 110yds, just held, eyecatcher, promising

4.35 Lingfield: full result, race replay and expert analysis

Havlin had made a good start to 2021 and has ridden 27 winners at a one-in-five strike-rate this year.

He has spent two decades with John Gosden, riding good horses such as Journey, Richard Pankhurst, Mehdaayih and Wissahickon for the Clarehaven yard.

The Scot, 47, enjoyed his best season in 2018 with 127 winners and he rode the 1,000th winner of his career last year.

Robert Havlin considering appeal against 21-day ban after eyecatching second

But he served a six-month drugs ban imposed by the French racing authorities in 2017.

Sky Sports Racing pundit Jason Weaver remarked that the ride on Stowell, who drifted from 8-1 to 16-1 before the off, was "very, very kid gloves".

In analysing the race, Weaver said: "Stowell has absolutely picked up under kid gloves all the way down the straight. He was checked in behind runners, it then opens up for him down on the inside and if he gets out at that point, he definitely goes and wins."
Report roadrunner46 October 22, 2021 7:35 PM BST
nothing wrong with that ride, think it was just an overreaction by the stewards, god forbid the stewards never get it wrong
Report 1st time poster October 24, 2021 10:53 AM BST
its pretty basic stuff in the world of work gosden intorduces mandatory drug/alcohol testing in his yard and if you fail its instant dismissal ,that in itself should stop/lessen the drug/alcohol use in gosdens yard
Report 1st time poster October 24, 2021 11:28 AM BST
chappers thinks gosden is a hero boss so do his fellow gosden junkies frankie and the young kid
Report Jumping-cuckoo-monk October 24, 2021 12:53 PM BST
How did the horse win with an anesthetic in its system?
Must be a machine
How does the drug get from groom to horse. Did the groom kiss the horse?
It's good of Gosden to do his own investigation into this I must say Crazy
Report Jumping-cuckoo-monk October 24, 2021 12:56 PM BST
Chapman says Gosden has been a hero in all this
He looked after the groom/employee and the trainer isn't culpable.
The trainer is responsible for everything that goes on in his stable, imo
As for not sacking the member of staff, read between the lines ffs.
Report LoyalHoncho October 24, 2021 6:35 PM BST
Jumping, are you suggesting that the groom might reach out to the tabloids and reveal all?  Whatever all might be?
Report wroughtironronn October 25, 2021 3:40 PM BST
As the Stewards tug their forelocks and apologise for causing Sir John a degree of inconvenience
Report portmanpark October 26, 2021 10:03 AM BST
reading this thread you realise why anti vaxxers exist.....ketamine is a sedative and would not have helped the horse in any way.....blackbarn dont bother its not worth cant educate pork
Report Jumping-cuckoo-monk October 26, 2021 1:19 PM BST
It is still a banned drug for the day of the race and needs to be investigated

If the groom (is his name Patsy?) is a ketamine addict he should be the 1st person removed from a stable, imo.
The safety of other jockeys/horses is at risk if you have horse running in a race with certain drugs inside it
The owner loses prize-money, the reputation of horse-racing takes another hit, the participants in the race are at possible risk
from a doped horse (doped as in sluggish) and yet the groom keeps his job?

No-one in the world would blame the trainer for sacking the groom for the good of everyone, yet he keeps his job.
Pull the other one.
Something stinks
Report portmanpark October 26, 2021 2:32 PM BST
the horse won....why would a trainer involved  in million pound horses be using ketamine which is easily traceable....are  you nuts??
Report portmanpark October 26, 2021 2:34 PM BST
jumping..are you a conspiracy theorist...anti vaxxer...holocaust denier?? far do you sink??
Report sparrow October 26, 2021 2:35 PM BST
Report Jumping-cuckoo-monk October 26, 2021 2:49 PM BST
Ahh we are at that level of debate are we portman. How original.

If the horse won, tell me why the owners have lost their prize-money if there is nothing to see here.
Perhaps they should consult you to front their apppeal?

Why would any sane man have a drug addict chaperoning his  horses in a million dollar operation?

How did the drug get into the horses system?

I don't know the answers but it seems odd.
Report Jumping-cuckoo-monk October 26, 2021 2:52 PM BST
"Gosden said he had been impressed by the sensitivity of the testing equipment."

lol, nice schmoozing John Laugh
Report Jumping-cuckoo-monk October 26, 2021 3:06 PM BST
"It creates a sort of trance-like state in human beings," he said, "and in a horse, if you give enough to affect them, they would immediately lose co-ordination and no doubt would have a terrible accident. So it's not the kind of thing you'd want anywhere near a horse, except in a clinic as anaesthetic."

Quite true John ,you don't want ketamine anywhere near your horses do you!
And as for knowing how ketamine affects people and their trance like state, how the fark do you know that?
Is it zombie land at your stables on a saturday night? Mischief
Report portmanpark October 26, 2021 3:53 PM BST
you really think john gosden would drug his horses with have some magic beans for sale...interested??
Report chewy11 October 26, 2021 3:55 PM BST

3 apprentices at JG's waiting to ride 2nd lot.
Report portmanpark October 26, 2021 3:57 PM BST
there was a study out last month that links conspiracy theorists with mental illness....reading this thread i think it could be on to something
Report carrot1960 October 26, 2021 4:04 PM BST
I  don't see any evidence to suggest how the drug got into the horses system , do you.
Report Jumping-cuckoo-monk October 26, 2021 4:05 PM BST
chewy CoolLaugh
Report Jumping-cuckoo-monk October 26, 2021 4:07 PM BST
I'm just amazed that another druggie at Big John's yard seems untouchable
If I was lucky enough to have a horse with John, I would definitely say I'd want him looked after by anyone but that groom
Maybe John has moved the fella to the office.
Maybe the BHA ought to send some inspectors round to do some spot checks on the staff in stables.
Horse's welfare and all that.
This shrug of the shoulders by many involved in H/r seems off and when Matt Chapman described John as a hero, I knew the world had gone mad

That pos trainer who was caught with his horses starving and at death's door should've just blamed the stable staff who eat the horse feed cuz they have the munchies due to cannabis addiction.
As long as he delivered the excuse in a posh voice of course.
Report LoyalHoncho October 26, 2021 4:20 PM BST
A greyhound trainer once claimed, in all seriousness, and not that very long ago in a case which to my knowledge is still unresolved after about four years, that the cocaine must have gotten into the dog from his hands which had handled used notes he'd received in change at a bar embedded with the stuff!,
I ask you?
When did a trainer ever pay for drinks at a bar?  Certainly not in my experience?  Laugh
Report Jumping-cuckoo-monk October 26, 2021 4:27 PM BST
Report portmanpark October 26, 2021 6:32 PM BST
carrot1960 you are saying in print you think john gosden administered ketamine in one of his horses
Report portmanpark October 26, 2021 6:33 PM BST
yes or no
Report lead on October 26, 2021 7:09 PM BST
That's not what he said!
Report portmanpark October 26, 2021 7:13 PM BST
the evidence given was the stable lad took ketamine and it got in the horses system that way....he obviously does not believe that so he thinks some other person did it
Report portmanpark October 26, 2021 7:15 PM BST
he has put up multiple threads about crooked rides so he as they got form
Report portmanpark October 26, 2021 7:15 PM BST
they say*
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