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Damning Texts Exposed in Aquanita Scandal
Melbourne's Herald Sun yesterday published explosive alleged text messages relating to the alleged Aquanita doping scandal. In its exclusive piece, the Herald Sun claims that racing figures doped champion horses in some of Australia's biggest races - possibly even the Melbourne Cup. Among the text messages is a communication between high profile trainer Robert Smerdon and Aquanita staff member Greg Nelligan that discusses "topping up" former star filly Mosheen before the 2011 Group 1 Thousand Guineas in Melbourne. Mosheen finished second to champion filly Atlantic Jewel in the race. The term "top-up" is believed to be a euphemism for the race-day administration of an illegal substance, in this case sodium bicarbonate. Commonly known as baking soda, sodium bicarbonate is a performance enhancing substance that is known in racing circles as a "milkshake" or "bicarb". It enhances performance by increasing blood CO2 levels, which in turn triggers the expulsion of lactic acid from the muscles thus enabling a horse to run for longer without feeling fatigued. News of the Aquanita scandal broke in January when Racing Victoria sensationally charged eight licensed persons affiliated with the organisation formerly known as Aquanita Racing (now operating under the new name of Neerim Lodge) for alleged raceday treatment extending back to 2010.