High profile and leading Victorian greyhound trainer, Jason Thompson might be forgiven for giving Warrnambool greyhounds a wide berth around May Carnival time next year.
The Pearcedale greyhound trainer, who has had dual final starters in the Warrnambool Cup in 2008 and 2011, has had a run in with stewards on both occasions; and now news has surfaced that Thompson will be subject to a Greyhound Racing Victoria stewards inquiry due to a positive swab taken during the 2011 cup heats.
After getting two greyhounds through to the 2011 Warrnambool Cup final, Thompson had to settle for second with Proven Que Tee, while his other runner Aston Galilee finished seventh after being poorly away.
Thompson was so unsettled by the run that he complained to GRV Stewards on the night that there was an unacceptable delay in the "lure run up" to the boxes; essentially that the lure took too long from when the last greyhound was boxed until it reached the boxes and the race began.
GRV Stewards reportedly raised the complaint briefly with the lure driver but dismissed the objection and made no amendment to the race or the finishing positions.
The scene was reminiscent of a similar occurrence at the 2008 Warrnambool Cup final night when Thompson became embroiled in controversy.
That year Thompson also had two runners engaged in the final and while his greyhound El Galo went on to win the race, it was the aftermath involving his other runner Knocka Norris that had all tongues wagging.
This time it was the GRV stewards who originated the complaint when they called Thompson in to question the run of the pre-race favourite and Thompson and now GRV Chief Steward Glenn Fish became embroiled in a heated discussion where Thompson was heard to question the stewards judgement in “calling him in” to explain the run and offered to “hand his licence in”.
But the matter didn't end there as Thompson then made representations to GRV CEO John Stephens in the VIP marquee enclosure claiming victimisation in front of astonished onlookers and invited dignitaries and sponsors of the Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club.
And now Thompson's sour association with Warrnambool looks set to continue after it has emerged that his greyhound Proven Que Tee has returned a positive swab during the heats of the 2011 Warrnambool Cup.
In the 2011 Warrnambool Cup heat Proven Que Tee was a 25.31 winner leading all the way in a reduced field of just five runners from box 7, winning by 3.75 lengths over Radley Bale.
As there was only six heats of the cup, the six winners and the two fastest seconds made up the final eight greyhounds for the cup with the third and fourth fastest seconds to be the nominated reserves.
Radley Bale's second was not quick enough to make the field nor the reserves list.
As the winner of of one of the cup heats Proven Que Tee was subject to the routine urine swabbing that accompanies all major greyhound races, and it is from this swab that the positive to a prohibited substance originates.
Greyhound Racing Victoria have yet to publicly acknowledge the finding of the positive swab nor the proposed date set down for the stewards inquiry or RADB hearing; and it remains a mystery as to why the swab was not processed in a timely manner prior to the Cup final.
However it is understood that the positive swab could be a serious enough offence that Proven Que Tee may be disqualified as the winner of the cup heat and consequently disqualified from second place in the Cup final. Jason Thompson himself could also be facing a potential fine, suspension or disqualification.
Regardless of the outcome, Thompson would be forgiven if he conveniently over looked the 2012 Warrnambool Cup & Classic May Carnival.