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Racing to work on holiday

Racing to work on holiday

Date Published: 19-Aug-16

ChemCentre Forensic Science Racing chemist Meena Raghvani recently took the opportunity to combine a little work with her leisure. While holidaying in Hong Kong, Meena arranged to visit the Hong Kong racing laboratory, a world leader in the field of horse-racing chemistry.
“They are a much bigger team than we are in the ChemCentre racing chemistry section,” Meena said. “As well as screening thousands of samples, they have a dedicated research team. They were a really friendly group of professionals who take great pride in what they do and made me feel very welcome.”

The Hong Kong racing laboratory operates as part of the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) and is located on-site at Sha Tin Racecourse. The large state-of-the-art laboratory houses over AU$16 million worth of equipment. It tests equine samples from racing and other equestrian sports, as well as canine and human samples. It is the only laboratory in Asia that is appointed by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) as its sole Reference Laboratory and completes testing for all FEI events in Asia.

The Hong Kong racing laboratory has close ties with the Association of Official Racing Chemists (AORC), as does ChemCentre. International collaboration in racing chemistry is essential to ensure laboratories remain abreast of latest developments in illicit drug use and drug testing in the industry.

“It was interesting to see how a racing laboratory operates when it is a part of a club (HKJC) and is able to oversee all the different elements of the racing industry from the stables, to the number of races, through to the betting shops,” Meena said. “The Hong Kong laboratory actually overlooks the racetrack.

“Here in WA, we face challenges due to the number and location of races, the size of the state and budgetary constraints. The challenges in Hong Kong are at the other end of the spectrum.

“With all that in mind it brings home to me that the small team of Racing in ChemCentre actually delivers big. I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Photo: The view from the Hong Kong Jockey Club racing laboratory, overlooking the Sha Tin Racecourse.
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