Spreyton trainer Mark Ganderton has been disqualified for nine months over a positive swab returned by one of his horses prior to the COVID-19 shutdown.
The Ganderton-trained Fighting Phoenix tested positive to the anti-inflammatory phenylbutazone and two metabolites after winning at Mowbray on March 28.
Ganderton pleaded guilty to presenting the mare to race when she was not free of all prohibited substances.
He indicated he would appeal against the severity of the penalty but an application for a stay of proceedings was denied and the disqualification is effective immediately.
Ganderton had only one horse entered for Spreyton on Sunday - debut winner Ancona in the Class 1 Handicap.
Chief steward Scott Quill said that connections would be given the opportunity to transfer the gelding to another stable if they wished to run.
Quill said Ganderton's penalty took into account that Fighting Phoenix was only his 14th runner after a previous disqualification.
"His defence included the possibility of cross contamination from another horse that was being treated but stewards couldn't be satisfied that was the sole reason," he said.
Fighting Phoenix was disqualified from the race and the placings amended to: Silkstone 1, Fiveandfurther 2, Gee Gee Pureblonde 3.
HAWK HAS THE CLASS BUT RIVALS IN FORM
Topweight White Hawk has a class edge on his rivals in the main race at Spreyton on Sunday, the $20,000 Kevin Sharkie Winter Distance Handicap (1880m).
The Angela Brakey-trained seven-year-old is the only open-class winner in the field, hence he has 4kg more than any other runner.
However he looks well weighted after the claim for apprentice Peter Lui which will bring him into the race only 2kg over the minimum.
White Hawk won the open-class Sydeston Night Cup (2150m) at Mowbray in February beating Settler's Stone and Victorian visitor Mitrust.
He then ran ninth to Home By Midnight in the Launceston Cup and seventh to Grande Promenade at Caulfield before winding up his campaign with another win at Mowbray in March.
At his first run after a spell he was a handy sixth to Cabarrus in benchmark 74 company last week, beaten only two lengths over an unsuitable 1350m.
Although he's the class runner of this week's race, he does come up against some in-form horses with good form in lower grade.
Ethical Dilemma was only narrowly beaten by track specialist Willby Rules over 1650m a fortnight ago and Sh'bourne Renegade and Submit Another ran the quinella in an 1880m benchmark 66 on the same program.