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Steven Long Fined $1000 For Positive Swab

Offence Charged:
Mr. Steven Long failed to present the greyhound Midnight Strike free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Geelong Greyhound Racing Club on Monday, 23 June 2014.

Report:
Following advice from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of pre-race urine sample taken from the greyhound Midnight Strike at the Geelong Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Monday, 23 June 2014.

During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mr. Steven Long, Mr. David Batty (Racing Analytical Services Laboratory) and Dr. Steven Karamatic (Greyhound Racing Industry Veterinary Officer).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Long with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rules 83(2) and (3) in that he did fail to present the greyhound Midnight Strike free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Geelong Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Monday, 23 June 2014 given that the pre-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance ‘Prednisone and Prednisolone’.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules a breach of GAR83 (2) and (3) constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on Monday, 20 October 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Local Racing Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M(1) of the Racing Act.

Mr. Steven Long represented himself.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. Steven Long pleaded guilty to the charge.

After hearing all the evidence tendered, the RADB determined that Mr. Long was guilty as charged and imposed a fine of $1,000 (with $500 of this amount suspended for a period of 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR83 (2) and (3) in that period).

In assessing the penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:

(a) Mr. Longs’ guilty plea;
(b) The nature of the prohibited substance Prednisone and Prednisolone and how and when the offences occurred;
(c) The need to maintain the integrity of greyhound racing and ensure a level playing field for all participants;
(d) Prior penalties for similar category 2 prohibited substance offences;
(e) Mr. Longs’ character and his clean history in the greyhound industry.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified Midnight Strike from Event 7 – The Sita Australia – Grade 5 – at the Geelong Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Monday, 23 June 2014 and amended the placings accordingly.

What are Prednisone and Prednisolone?
Prednisone is in a class of drugs called corticosteroids and Prednisolone is in a class of drugs called steroids. In humans they are used for different inflammatory or autoimmune diseases and conditions. In dogs it’s a prescription drug used to treat various conditions such as Addison’s disease, inflammation from arthritis, allergies, and certain autoimmune diseases.

Kevin Jakobi Disqualified For Clenbuterol Positive Swab

Offence:
Mr. Kevin Jakobi failed to present the greyhound Flaming Winter free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Ballarat Greyhound Racing Club on Monday, 14 April 2014.

Report:
Following advice from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of post-race urine sample taken from the greyhound Flaming Winter at the Ballarat Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Monday, 14 April 2014.

During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mr. Kevin Jakobi, Mr. David Batty (Racing Analytical Services Laboratory) and Dr. Steven Karamatic (Greyhound Racing Industry Veterinary Officer).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Jakobi with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rules 83(2) and (3) in that he did fail to present the greyhound Flaming Winter free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Ballarat Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Monday, 14 April 2014 given that the post-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Clenbuterol.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules a breach of GAR83 (2) and (3) constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on Monday, 20 October 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Local Racing Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M(1) of the Racing Act.

Mr. Kevin Jakobi represented himself.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. Kevin Jakobi pleaded guilty to the charge.

After hearing all the evidence tendered, the RADB determined that Mr. Jakobi was guilty as charged and disqualified him for a period of 6 months, with 3 months of this disqualification period suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR83 during this 12 month period, effective from Monday, 20 October 2014.

In assessing penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:

(a) Mr. Jakobi’s guilty plea;
(b) The nature of the prohibited substance Clenbuterol and how and when the offences occurred;
(c) The need to maintain the integrity of greyhound racing and ensure a level playing field for all participants;
(d) Prior penalties for similar category 3 prohibited substance offences;
(e) Mr. Jakobis’ character and his clean history in the greyhound industry.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified Flaming Winter from Event 1 – The Midland Irrigation – Tier 3 – Maiden at the Ballarat Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Monday, 14 April 2014 and amended the placings accordingly.

Jamie Ennis Fined $1,250 For His Part In Dream It Positive Swab

Offence Charged:

Mr. Jamie Ennis on or about 19 April 2014 did in relation to greyhound racing, administer to the greyhound Dream It trained by Mrs. Brooke Ennis the substance Meloxicam 20mg/ml (resulting in a swab irregularity from the greyhound at the Warrnambool GRC meeting conducted on Wednesday, 23 April 2014) which was not prescribed, to Dream It or for the use in other greyhounds trained by Mr. or Mrs. Ennis, which is the opinion of stewards was improper or constituted misconduct.

Report:

Following advice from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of a post-race urine sample taken from the greyhound Dream It at the Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Wednesday, 23 April 2014.

During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mr. Jamie Ennis, Ms. Naomi Selvadurai (Racing Analytical Services Laboratory) and Dr. Steven Karamatic (Greyhound Racing Industry Veterinary Officer).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Ennis with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rule 86 (o) in that on or about 19 April 2014 did in relation to greyhound racing, administer to the greyhound Dream It trained by Mrs. Brooke Ennis the substance Meloxicam 20mg/ml (resulting in a swab irregularity from the greyhound at the Warrnambool GRC meeting conducted on Wednesday, 23 April 2014) which was not prescribed, to Dream It or for the use in other greyhounds trained by Mr Ennis or Mrs Ennis, which is the opinion of stewards was improper or constituted misconduct.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules a breach of GAR86 (o) constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on Monday, 29 September 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Local Racing Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M(1) of the Racing Act.

Mr. Jamie Ennis represented himself.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. Jamie Ennis pleaded guilty to the charge.

After hearing all the evidence tendered, the RADB determined that Mr. Ennis was guilty as charged and imposed a fine of $1,250.

In assessing penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:

(a) Mr. Ennis’ guilty plea;

(b) The nature of the prohibited substance Meloxicam and how and when the offence occurred;

(c) The need to maintain the integrity of greyhound racing and ensure a level playing field for all participants;

(d) Mr. Ennis’ remorse shown at the hearing;

(e) Mr. Ennis’ character and his good record in the greyhound industry for over 16 years;

(f) The penalty imposed on Mrs. Brooke Ennis.

Additional Information - Meloxicam is an anti-inflammatory prescription medication used to reduce pain, inflammation, and stiffness as a result of acute and chronic musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis. It is non-steroidal and also known as Mobic for humans.

Brooke Ennis Fined $2,000 For Two Meloxicam Positive Swabs

Offences Charged:

(1) Mrs. Brooke Ennis failed to present the greyhound Dream It free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club on Wednesday, 23 April 2014.

(2) Mrs. Brooke Ennis failed to present the greyhound Dream It free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club on Wednesday, 30 April 2014.

Reports:

Following advice from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of post-race urine samples taken from the greyhound Dream It at the Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club meetings held on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 and Wednesday, 30 April 2014.

During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mrs. Brooke Ennis, Ms. Naomi Selvadurai (Racing Analytical Services Laboratory) and Dr. Steven Karamatic (Greyhound Racing Industry Veterinary Officer).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mrs. Ennis with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rules 83(2) and (3) in that she did fail to present the greyhound Dream It free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 and she did fail to present the greyhound Dream It free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Wednesday, 30 April 2014, given that the post-race urine samples taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Meloxicam.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules a breach of GAR83 (2) and (3) constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on Monday, 29 September 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Local Racing Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M(1) of the Racing Act.

Mrs. Brooke Ennis represented herself.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

Mrs. Brooke Ennis pleaded guilty to both charges.

After hearing all the evidence tendered, the RADB determined that Mrs. Ennis was guilty as charged and imposed a fine of $2,000, in total, on both charges.

In assessing penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:

(a) Mrs. Ennis’ guilty pleas;

(b) The nature of the prohibited substance Meloxicam and how and when the offences occurred;

(c) The need to maintain the integrity of greyhound racing and ensure a level playing field for all participants;

(d) Prior penalties for similar category 2 prohibited substance offences;

(e) Mrs. Ennis’ good character and her clean history in the greyhound industry for over 10 years.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB disqualified ‘Dream It’ from Event 3 – Macey’s Bistro Warrnambool Classic S/F 2 – S/E Semi Final – at the Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 and amended the placings accordingly.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified ‘Dream It’ from Event 8 – Macey’s Bistro Warrnambool Classic Final – S/E Group 2 – at the Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 and amended the placings accordingly.

Additional Information - Meloxicam is an anti-inflammatory prescription medication used to reduce pain, inflammation, and stiffness as a result of acute and chronic musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis. It is non-steroidal and also known as Mobic for humans.

Tabcorp Should Get Its Finger Out

It’s all very well for Tabcorp’s boss, David Attenborough, to complain* about the activities of corporate and overseas bookmakers, but should he try to be more competitive himself?

*See address to American Chamber of Commerce, 28 August, listed on Tabcorp website.

The major example can be seen in Tabcorp’s Fixed Odds pricing, where books of 130% are normal and roughly parallel those of the online people. These are punitive figures which no normal customer can ever overcome over a period. In traditional wagering terms, they are an insult to punters.

Attenborough could well order the figures reduced to, say, 117%, which equates to the deduction he takes out of conventional tote business (an average of $16 out of every $100 or $14.50 for Win bets). He could make the pace and re-take the initiative from the NT group. No doubt the NT companies would follow and customers would get a better deal all round. Turnover and prices would both be better, and there is still plenty left for the betting operators to dine out on.

Another sensible move would be to get rid of the ridiculous Duet bet, which hardly anyone buys, and thereby boost turnover for standard Quinella and Exacta betting, both badly in need of help at the smaller greyhound meetings.

So why doesn’t he?

Of course, part of the answer is that, contrary to Attenborough’s claim that “we have morphed into a more agile, customer-led organisation”, Tabcorp is hell-bent on scraping as much as it can out of every bet made, almost regardless of where that will lead customers and the industry in the longer term. For Fixed Odds, the current attitude is that if they (corporate bookies) can do it, so can we. For Duet betting, they obviously cannot be bothered cleaning up a relic of the ages. The customers are not leading at all, Tabcorp is.

WINNING AND LOSING AT THE SAME TIME

Mind you, state racing authorities are no better than Tabcorp as they are also in the 130% camp when quoting odds on their formguides. What a terrible example to set for the industry! It is impossible to understand their motives in doing that. Their other options are to use a 100% book as a guideline to runners’ real chances or to adopt the tote figure of 117% which would allow direct price comparisons.

Let’s take those comparisons a bit further. As I write, at Horsham (Tuesday) the Watchdog is suggesting books of 125%, 132%, 128%, and 127% for four of the better races. But in real life punters did things a little differently. All four of the Watchdog’s top picks also ended up as favourites but at shorter prices.

 

NSW TAB Watchdog Actual
Race 4 $2.80 $1.80 Won
Race 5 $1.70 $1.40 Won
Race 6 $2.00 $1.90 Lost
Race 7 $2.50 $2.30 Lost

 

This introduces three features of greyhound betting; (a) punters over-bet on the favourite; (b) the Watchdog, as the most prominent tipster, probably influences punters’ selections; and (c) the average punter is not paying attention to value.We have not shown Fixed Odds for these races but they are in fact identical to the final tote payout. Information on what happened during the course of betting is not available.

An even dollar on each of these favourites resulted in a loss of 80 cents, or 20% of your $4 investment. To put it another way, the Watchdog’s suggested odds are more sensible but they never happen in practice. Maybe GRV should take out a bookie’s licence?

A further comment would be that most punters would not be aware of the final odds because only around half of the pool would be evident prior to the time punters had to place their bet. Any later fluctuations are influenced by the relatively small size of greyhound pools – and Horsham’s twilight slot on Tuesdays is as good as it gets for provincial racing, often producing bigger pools than for evening races in town (on the NSW TAB).

The outcome is that maybe half the punters are taking a pig in a poke because they are gambling without real knowledge while the other half may understand the form but is still forced to guess that the final price will be satisfactory – and often it will not be. Of course, this may well be one of the factors which encourage a shift to Fixed Odds Betting. Seldom will that do you any good but at least you will know what you are getting.

From the industry’s viewpoint, it is stuck with a volatile betting structure, one which has grown up like Topsy and is totally out of the control of racing administrators. The real competition we used to have – from on-course bookmakers – has disappeared along with the on-course crowds they once served. Indeed, that change is the real reason why controls over wagering should have changed long ago. (Efforts by RNSW to regulate online bookmakers are belated steps but are unlikely to reverse the trends significantly).

Aside from extra regulation, solutions, or rather assistance of some sort, are available from two sources – the creation of a national pool with greater price certainty, and mounting efforts to better educate punters about greyhound racing.

The Federal Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews, is currently looking into online gambling activities and so may well venture into the wagering scene, particularly as many prominent people are complaining – eg Tabcorp, Racing NSW, former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett, and probably Racing Victoria (which often tends to be follower, not a leader).

JOKING, PERHAPS?

Here is one that slipped by me, largely because I take a very low interest in racing at Ipswich due to its disruptive layout.

However, since the recent transfer of form and results data from the local Queensland people to the GRNSW-operated Ozchase system some changes have occurred, not least being the fact that winning box information is missing.

Importantly, they have ended up with the dreadful Tasmanian practice of assigning sectional times for Ipswich 431m races to whatever dog won the race, never mind what actually led. Consequently, future career records will be distorted because they follow only what goes onto the formline.

Queensland is also deficient at all other provincial tracks.

Add to that the more common practice – at NSW Northern Rivers tracks, for example – of not allocating the single sectional time for all short races to any runner at all and you have a dog’s breakfast of data.

Expecting serious punters to support the sport under these conditions is fanciful dreaming.

Norman Walls Fined After Campaspe Will Positives

Offences Charged:

(1) Mr. Norman Walls failed to present the greyhound Campaspe Will free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club on Thursday, 17 April 2014.

(2) Mr. Norman Walls failed to present the greyhound Campaspe Will free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club on Thursday, 1 May 2014.

Report:

Following advice from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of post-race urine samples taken from the greyhound Campaspe Will at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club meetings held on Thursday, 17 April 2014 and on Thursday, 1 May 2014.

During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mr. Norman Walls, Mr. Paul Zahra (Racing Analytical Services Laboratory) and Dr. Steven Karamatic (Greyhound Racing Industry Veterinary Officer).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Walls with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rules 83(2) and (3) in that he did fail to present the greyhound Campaspe Will free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Thursday, 17 April 2014 and he did fail to present the greyhound Campaspe Will free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Thursday, 1 May 2014 given that the post-race urine samples taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Piroxicam.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules a breach of GAR83 (2) and (3) constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on Thursday, 4 September 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Local Racing Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M(1) of the Racing Act.

Mr. Norman Walls represented himself.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. Norman Walls pleaded guilty to both charges.

After hearing all the evidence tendered, the RADB determined that Mr. Walls was guilty as charged and imposed a fine of $1,000, in total, on both charges.

In assessing penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:

(a) Mr. Walls guilty pleas;
(b) The nature of the prohibited substance Piroxicam and how and when the offences occurred;
(c) The need to maintain the integrity of greyhound racing and ensure a level playing field for all participants;
(d) Prior penalties for similar category 2 prohibited substance offences;
(e) Mr. Walls character and his clean history in the greyhound industry for over 50 years.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified Campaspe Will from Event 8 – The Easter Gift – Group Listed – at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Thursday, 17 April 2014 and amended the placings accordingly.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified Campaspe Will from Event 6 – The Bert Bryant Memorial – S/E Group 3 – at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Thursday, 1 May 2014 and amended the placings accordingly.

ARG Opinion:

Piroxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is commonly used for managing pain and inflammation in dogs. The drug provides dogs with relief from fever, pain and inflammation by slowing down the production and discharge of prostaglandins.

Considering the advantages gained for Campaspe Will after being administered Piroxicam, one could assume that Norman Walls would have left the RADB hearing happy to have avoided suspension. The fact is that Norman has 50 years of history within the industry and that has counted for something, as it should.

David Rowan Fined $500 And Disqualified For Six Months

Offence:

Mr. David Rowan failed to attend an inquiry on Thursday, 8 May 2014, when directed to do so by the Stewards.

Report:

The Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria proposed to open an inquiry into certain conduct of Mr. David Rowan.

The inquiry was called for on Thursday, 8 May 2014.

Mr. Rowan failed to attend the inquiry. Stewards charged Mr. Rowan with a breach of GAR86 (e) which provides that being an owner, trainer attendant or person having official duties in relation to greyhound racing, who refuses or fails to attend or give evidence or produce a document or other thing at an inquiry held pursuant to these Rules when directed by the Controlling Body, Stewards or the committee of a club to do so, commits an offence.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules a breach of GAR86 (e) constitutes a Serious Offence.

As a result, on Monday, 25 August 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Local Racing Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M(1) of the Racing Act.

Mr. David Rowan represented himself and appeared via telephone.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. David Rowan refused to plead to the charge. The RADB entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

After hearing all the evidence tendered the RADB determined that Mr. David Rowan was guilty of failing to attend an Inquiry on Thursday, 8 May 2014, when directed to do so by the Stewards.

Mr. Rowan was fined the sum of $500 and disqualified for a period of six months, such disqualification period to commence as from the date of expiration of the disqualification period imposed on Mr. Rowan by VCAT on Monday, 21 July 2014.

In assessing penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:

(a) Mr. David Rowan’s not guilty plea;
(b) Prior penalties for similar charges including the penalty imposed on Mr. Rowan by VCAT on Monday, 21 July 2014;
(c) Mr. David Rowan’s attitude and comments in the hearing

ARG Opinion:

This is another case where David Rowan was fined for failing to attend a hearing in an unrelated matter.

It’s not hard to turn up and treat an investigation with some respect. An obvious situation plays out here, if you cooperate, you will generally be treated fairly. If you don’t, you won’t.

As such David has copped a six month disqualification and $500 fine.

Tony Vass Disqualified For Two Months For Dexamethasone Positive

Offence:

Mr. Tony Vass failed to present the greyhound Sick Money free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Sale Greyhound Racing Club on Tuesday, 4 March 2014.

Report:

Following advice from the Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of a post-race urine sample taken from greyhound Sick Money at the Sale Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Tuesday, 4 March 2014.

During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mr. Tony Vass, Mr. Paul Zahra (Racing Analytical Services Laboratory) and Dr. Steven Karamatic (Greyhound Racing Industry Veterinary Officer).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Vass with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rules 83 (2) and (3) in that he did fail to present the greyhound Sick Money free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Sale Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Tuesday, 4 March 2014 given that the post-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Dexamethasone.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules a breach of GAR83 (2) and (3) constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on Tuesday, 29 July 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Local Racing Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M(1) of the Racing Act.

Mr. Tony Vass represented himself.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) and Mr. Ron Matthews (Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. Tony Vass pleaded not guilty to the charge.

After hearing all the evidence tendered, the RADB determined that Mr. Vass was guilty as charged and disqualified him for 2 months, effective from Monday, 4 August 2014.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified Sick Money from Event 3 – Sale Mazda Tier 3 Maiden – at the Sale Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Tuesday, 4 March 2014 and amended the placings accordingly.

In assessing penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:

(a) Mr. Vass’s not guilty plea;
(b) The nature of the prohibited substance Dexamethasone;
(c) The need to maintain the integrity of greyhound racing and ensure a level playing field for all participants;
(d) Prior penalties for similar offences;
(e) Mr. Vass’s prior history in the greyhound industry.

Out Of The Frying Pan, Into …. Where?

Australian wagering has moved on to yet another stage following Racing NSW’ negotiations with online bookmakers and others to ensure they take all reasonable bets. Or so we are assured.

CEO Peter V’Landys has announced the terms of a new deal requiring the online bookies to accept a minimum bet to lose $2,000 on city gallops, or $1,000 on country races, from September 1, 2014. An operator turning over less than $5 million can halve those figures. It applies to Fixed Odds bets and apparently will bind Tabcorp as well.

Under the new agreement bookies will not be able to cancel accounts for successful punters unless there is an integrity issue involved (which introduces a disputable area right away).

Punters who feel hard done by can appeal to Racing NSW, much as occurs with traditional oncourse bookies.

We will await announcements by other jurisdictions and other codes. Racing Victoria has already said it will be watching with interest to see what happens.

The big question is what will happen when the crunch comes if the Darwin bookies are found to be in breach of the agreement.

In the matter of racefield fees Racing NSW theoretically had some leverage in that it could deny access to the primary information – ie a list of runners – using copyright legislation. That was never really tested. From the beginning, the bookies had always agreed to pay a fee and, in fact had appealed to the NSW Racing Minister to allow that to happen. At the time, Racing NSW (and others) did not want a bar of them at any cost. It tried all sorts of avenues to prevent them from starting up, including an appeal to the Commonwealth to declare it illegal. That was denied.

The subsequent High Court argument was never about paying fees, only about how it was calculated. Racing NSW won there, too, as it should. After all, it is the principal and bookies are simply agents or service providers.

The irony of all these goings-on is that racing authorities are now rubbing their hands with glee as the money flows in. Enemies are now best of friends and a once moribund wagering sector was revitalised.

But only for a time. As online bookies gained ground, tote volumes fell away, suggesting amongst other things that the market had been fully exploited under the existing conditions, which included substantial increases in the number of races on offer and the confusion caused by clashing races. In turn, that meant that cracks were appearing in the foundations, particularly for smaller meetings (like greyhound meetings), and the reliability of the tote prices came under pressure. Yet they have been, and still will be, the guiding force for all wagering. The recent boost to Fixed Odds Betting is still based on likely tote prices, erratic or not.

So the online bookies have actually had a mixed influence, varying from good to now questionable.

The pity of it all is that it might be argued that online bookies are now looking at the possibility that they will move from being highly profitable to just normally profitable. Their bet acceptance policies, coupled with high Fixed Odds prices (up to 130% books), form a base for them to achieve very large surpluses, especially when much of their clientele is in the “mug gambler” category. This is clearly why overseas organisations have been paying hundreds of millions of dollar to buy out the local firms.

That last trend has been clearly indicated by GRNSW when it demonstrated that its agreement with online bookies is proving more lucrative under the “share of profits” model than under a commission on turnover. That is the exact opposite of the experience of the big players such as Racing NSW and Racing Victoria, both of which are now tens of millions better off using a turnover base. Obviously, NSW dog punters are not much good at what they do, so bookies are now able to buy a second Roller for the wife.

Perhaps you can take that a bit further. The rapidly increasing use of hand-held devices for wagering can only encourage quickie bets by people without serious racing knowledge. On the run, they would obviously not be able or inclined to study form and odds to any depth, no matter how many apps are made available. The only possible result is a loss over time, and a nice win for the bookies.

And the outcome of gambling on Swedish trots or whatever is a no-brainer. Bookies 1, gamblers 0.

As indicated in earlier columns here, the entire wagering caper has got completely out of hand. The concept of providing useful services to the racing industry is long forgotten, to be replaced by a bank of gambling options similar in shape to the long line of poker machines in your local club and pub. At the same time all power has switched from racing authorities to the wagering sector

An even greater problem is the loss of appreciation of the worth of the greyhound breed. The artificial images on Trackside machines are now little different to the real thing on SKY. Education is light on and so genuine knowledge is scant.

Both trends are manageable but only if governments and racing authorities can see where the failures are and take action to fix them.

As for V’Landys and Racing NSW – good luck to them, but can they make it stick legally? I doubt it. What will happen then? Rafferty’s rules?

(A note. The NT firms have become known as “corporate bookmakers”. In a sense that is correct but it is also confusing as some conventional oncourse bookmakers in the south are also incorporated, but they can do that only between family members because of restrictions imposed by racing authorities. Together with such things as high stand fees and taxes, earlier bans on mobile phones (or any phones) and the inability to set up shop outside a racecourse, these arbitrary policies were the prime causes of the establishment of operations in the NT in the first place. Had the industry been more attuned to the modern world and also less inclined to discriminate in favour of TABs, none of this mess would have come about and the NT would have been left to the crocodiles. Racing has been the loser).

Brian Barnsley Receives Lengthy Disqualification In The Rouw Investigation

Offence:

Mr. Brian Barnsley failed to present the greyhound Rouw free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club on Wednesday, 1 January 2014.

Report:

Following advice from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of a post-race urine sample taken from greyhound Rouw at the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Wednesday, 1 January 2014.

During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mr. Brian Barnsley, Mr. Glenn Barnsley (Trainer), Mr. Jason Goldsworthy (Owner), Mr. Paul Zahra (Racing Analytical Services Laboratory) and Dr. Steven Karamatic (Greyhound Racing Industry Veterinary Officer).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Barnsley with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rules 83(2) and (3) in that he did fail to present the greyhound Rouw free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Wednesday, 1 January 2014 given that the post-race urine sample taken from the
greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substances Amphetamine and Methamphetamine.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules a breach of GAR83 (2) and (3) constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on Wednesday, 9 July 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Local Racing Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M(1) of the Racing Act.

Mr. Brian Barnsley represented himself, with assistance from Mr. Glenn Barnsley.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. Brian Barnsley pleaded guilty to the charge.

After hearing all the evidence tendered and having regard to GAR83 (2) and (3), the RADB determined that Mr. Barnsley was guilty as charged and disqualified him for 18 months (with 12 months of this penalty suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR83 during the 12 month period), effective from Wednesday, 9 July 2014.

In assessing penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:

(a) Mr. Barnsley’s guilty plea;

(b) The nature of the prohibited substance Amphetamine and Methamphetamine, being category 4 prohibited substances under the GRV guidelines and permanently banned. The Board were satisfied that Mr. Barnsley was not directly involved in any
administration of the prohibited substances and that another person was the likely culprit. However, Mr. Barnsley as the trainer of Rouw bears responsibility under the Rules of greyhound racing for presenting the greyhound for racing drug free.

(c) The general deterrent effect and the need to maintain the integrity of greyhound racing and ensure a level playing field for all participants;

(d) Prior penalties for similar offences;

(e) Mr. Barnsley’s age and good character (as evidenced by his written character references), his clean history and over 50 years as a registered person in the greyhound industry; and

(f) Mr. Barnsley’s community engagement through his volunteer roles in charitable and other organisations over many years.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified Rouw from Event 2 – Browns Sawdust & Shavings Grade 5 – at the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Wednesday, 1 January 2014 and amended the placings as follows:

ARG Opinion:

The Barnsley investigation follows on from the Jason Goldsworthy RADB hearing and his lengthy two year disqualification. ARG’s opinion on this situation is detailed in this prior article relating to the case.

The GRV has made it perfectly clear that accidental administration isn’t acceptable and the lengthy disqualification handed down to someone of Brian Barnsley’s established character is a warning to all other participants.

Leigh Mitchell Receives Suspension For Breach Of GAR106 (1)(b)

Offence: Failed to provide proper exercise to greyhounds which were in his care and custody.

REPORT:

Following an Inquiry into the circumstances relating to the greyhounds which were kennelled at Mr. Leigh Mitchell’s kennels, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation.

During the investigation, Stewards heard evidence from Mr. Leigh Mitchell (Trainer), Ms. Delaine Vigor (Trainer), Mr. Jason Sharp (Trainer), Mr. Mick Gibbons (Trainer), Mr. Ron Fisher (Trainer) and Ms. Anita Courts (Trainer), Mr. Ken Mitchell (Trainer), Mr. Peter Chitty (Steward), Mr. Glenn Fish (Chief Steward) and Ms. Kim Meredith (Steward).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Mitchell with a breach of GAR106 (1) (b) in that on or between 6 March 2014 and 2 April 2014, as a registered person he did fail to provide proper exercise to greyhounds which were kennelled at Mr. Mitchell’s kennels, those greyhounds being in his care and custody.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules, a breach of GAR106 (1) (b) constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on Tuesday, 8 July 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M of the Racing Act.

Mr. Leigh Mitchell represented himself.

Mr. Ron Matthews (GRV Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. Leigh Mitchell pleaded not guilty to the charge.

After hearing all the evidence tendered the RADB determined that Mr. Leigh Mitchell was guilty of failing to provide proper exercise to greyhounds which were in his care and custody. He was suspended for one month, wholly suspended for nine months pending no further breaches of GAR106 during this period, effective from 8 July 2014.

In assessing penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:

(a) Mr. Mitchell’s not guilty plea;
(b) The nature of the offence;
(c) The need to maintain the animal welfare integrity of greyhound racing;
(d) Mr Mitchell’s health issues during the relevant charge period;
(e) Mr. Mitchell’s character references;
(f) Significant improvements have been made by Mr. Mitchell to his kennels and his care of his greyhounds in recent times.

Victoria Admits To A Rocky Future

A while back we pointed out that Greyhound Racing Victoria’s future income was looking a bit questionable, notwithstanding all the publicity about increases in prize money and millions being spent on new tracks and related facilities. The bottom line can be difficult to sort out as the major trend – an easing of tote betting – does not cover online bookmaker activity (which offers smaller commissions) or actions by the state government (grants and changes in taxes and commission sharing amongst codes).

We already know that GRV had done well out of the previous government-inspired alterations to commission shares, which followed the removal of racing income derived from poker machine taxes. However, it seems racing lost more on the swings than it gained on the roundabouts.

That swing appears to be statewide. Racing Victoria chairman Robert Roulston told the Herald Sun “it was looking at a $7 million reduction in its budget for the next racing season”. RV is trying to negotiate a better deal with the government “so that Victoria would remain the No 1 racing state”.

NSW greyhounds are also going down that path since it has had no luck in getting rid of the subsidies it pays to the other two codes under the fixed commission sharing agreement, signed off years ago by a short sighted administration. Balancing that loss by more favourable tax rates is its only hope.

Victoria is also watching closely to see how Racing NSW progresses its effort to force online bookmakers (and presumably Tabcorp) to accept any reasonable bets, particularly Fixed Odds bets, that they have been prone to knock back. However, whether that would make the state more profitable is open to question.

The Victorian issues follow on from the Queensland government’s published claim that its new deal with TattsBet will return perhaps $20 million more to the three codes. But the Minister is under fire because he has not yet said how much each code will get. Apparently, a by-election is in the offing and bad news is therefore deferred. But the troops are not happy.

In any event, a few more dollars in prize money are not likely to outweigh Queensland’s two main problems – a shortage of good dogs (or any dogs), and an uncompetitive tote. The small TattsBet pools are not about to stop fans favouring bigger southern pools or offers from online bookies. It’s not the cream that is the problem but the bread and butter.

When you add in TattsBet’s two other key states (SA and Tasmania), we are now looking at almost every jurisdiction in the country, perhaps except WA, facing challenges to their basic income. Even WA is still living in hope that the government will fund the rest of the new Cannington complex. So far, it has money only for the track itself.

There is no evidence that these trends will not continue, or even worsen. Apart from government belt-tightening, the country’s wagering system is arguably in a mess and is looking at an unknown future. I would defy anyone to describe a likely structure in five years from now. The dominant players are the shareholders of the two totes and the owners of online bookies and Betfair, all of which are strenuously trying to maximise their profits, regardless of the effect on the industry or its main source of income, the punters. What a curious policy! The goose and the golden egg come to mind.

Ideally, all racing authorities would get together to bring pressure to bear on Racing Ministers to introduce major reforms and perhaps to create some consistencies throughout the country. Sadly greyhounds cannot do that as its only national body, Greyhounds Australasia, does not deal with “commercial matters”. Indeed, it cannot even get the states to agree on racing rules. The other codes are not much better off.

Even the Productivity Commission recommended a national approach to the subject of racefield commissions (in its Problem Gambling Report). Yet state versus state jealousies seem to be an impossible barrier.

Racing is therefore in a precarious position as the two main influences on its fortunes are the policies of state governments and those of betting operators. Racing is in charge of not much more than lining up starters. Even then, it is flat out filling fields to suitable levels. At least one in five greyhound races start with empty boxes and a lack of reserves, thereby reducing incentive for exotic betting.

Some commentators claim it would take at least five years to bring about a national betting pool. That’s much too long, given the present state of the art and an unknown future. But that’s just the start. Love them or hate them, it’s the responsibility of state governments to take control of all betting, perhaps via a National Wagering Commission reporting to the Racing Ministers Council. Yes, that’s more bureaucracy but what other options are there?

The system is broken. Now is the time to fix it – and it is urgent.

OH DEAR!

Last week I suggested that punters should not take less than 4/1 about distance dogs in Melbourne. Alas, they still backed Lunar Jinx into $3.10 and Zipping Rory into $2.80 at Sandown on Thursday. Both lost. The race went to a rank outsider, which plodded home in a pathetic 42.54, nearly 20 lengths outside the record. There was no unusual interference, just inconsistent dogs. Or maybe they were just browned off? Would a long holiday help?

Still in Melbourne (but often elsewhere), the incidence of under-priced favourites is reaching worrying proportions. For example, at The Meadows several tipsters, including the Watchdog, pushed the wares of Bottom Dollar in a Maturity heat and it started at $3.10 or $4.10, depending where you lived. It ran nowhere after an average start but its recent form had been very ordinary, including a win at Wentworth Park in a moderate 30.27. In a smart field like this the numbers suggested it was a 100/1 chance. Its early-year form over shorter trips had been very good but it is futile to bet on what happened six months ago. Warrior King and All Strung Out were also well under the odds. Even My Bro Fabio ($2.50, box 6), which won really well after a slow start, would give you heart failure until it found its way thru the field, and then only because most of the field drifted off on the first turn, leaving the rails open.

No doubt the lack of serious analysis of likely chances is one reason the Fixed Odds people get away with their 130% books.

Nockabout Aussie Appeal Dismissed – What’s Your Verdict?

Offence: The greyhound Nockabout Aussie did fail to pursue the lure with due commitment at an event by reason of injury.

Report: The GRV RADB received an Appeal lodged by Mr. Peter Akathiotis against a decision handed down by the Greyhound Racing Victoria Stewards at Sandown on Thursday, 26 June 2014.

The Stewards determined, under the provisions of Greyhounds Australasia Rule 69 B(1)(a), that the greyhound ‘Nockabout Aussie’ failed to pursue the lure with due commitment by reason of injury during Event at Sandown on Thursday, 26 June 2014. Subsequently, under GAR 69 B(1)(a), Nockabout Aussie was ordered to undergo a satisfactory trial pursuant to GAR72.

Mr. Peter Akathiotis represented himself at the RADB hearing.

Mr. Carl Scott (GRV Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

After hearing all the evidence tendered, the RADB determined that the greyhound Nockabout Aussie did fail to pursue the lure with due commitment by reason of injury and the appeal was dismissed. The nature of the greyhound’s injury is not a relevant issue under GAR 69 B(1)(a).

ARG’s Opinion:

Nockabout Aussie an extremely talented dog that has flown around The Meadows in 29.83 and won in excess of $50,000 in prizemoney. This performance wasn’t one of his best. You can see that he eases significantly in the home straight the first time and also down the back when disappointed for an inside run. The video below will give you the chance to make up your own mind.

Nockabout Aussie – Box Eight

 

Vision courtesy of grv.org.au

Ian Rilen Receives Suspension And Fine For Threatening GRV CEO

Offence:

Making a threat towards Mr. Adam Wallish Chief Executive Officer of Greyhound Racing Victoria, being a member of the Controlling Body in a telephone conversation made on 11 March 2014 to the office of Racing Integrity Commissioner.

Report:

Following an Inquiry into the circumstances of a telephone conversation between Mr. Ian Rilen and the Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation.

During the investigation, Stewards heard evidence from Mr. Ian Rilen (Attendant) and the Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner.

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Ms. Ian Rilen with a breach of GAR86 (g) in that being a licensed attendant and having official duties in relation to greyhound racing, Mr. Ian Rilen did make a threat towards Mr. Adam Wallish Chief Executive Officer of Greyhound Racing Victoria, being a member of the Controlling Body in a telephone conversation made on 11 March 2014 to the office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules, a breach of GAR86 (g) constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on Tuesday, 24 June 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M of the Racing Act.

Mr. Ian Rilen did not appear at the hearing. The RADB entered a ‘not guilty’ plea on his behalf and conducted the hearing in his absence pursuant to section 83 (n) of the Racing Act 1958.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

After hearing all the evidence tendered the RADB determined that Mr. Ian Rilen was guilty of making a threat to Chief Executive Officer Mr. Adam Wallish, contrary to GAR 86 (g).

Mr. Rilen was fined the sum of $350 and suspended for one month, effective from midnight on 24 June 2014.

In assessing penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:

(a) The nature and manner of the threats made to Mr. Wallish;
(b) The need to maintain the integrity of greyhound racing;
(c) Prior penalties for similar offences;

Accidental Administration Of Prohibited Substances Won’t Work As A Defence

A dog testing positive because of “accidental administering” is hardly a new occurrence. Back in 2009 a precedence was formed in the case involving David Righetti, who was handed an 18 month disqualification after the Dale Walker owned Thump Boxer returned a positive swab to d-amphetamine after his 20th December 2008 720m 5th grade win at Wentworth Park.

Righetti appealed the decision, based around the fact that following the race several people who had been drinking and claimed to be part owners of the dog touched and patted Thump Boxer and shook Righetti’s hand, which in turn he then touched the greyhound with. It was claimed that the drug could have been absorbed if someone had a small amount of it on his hands and allowed the dog’s mouth to have come into contact with them.

The appeal was upheld and the disqualification rescinded.

Michael Hooper was suspended only a matter of weeks ago for a positive swab containing caffeine. The reason used in this investigation was that Hooper had accidentally knocked a drink containing caffeine from its position in his vehicle, and it was his belief that the greyhound had consumed some of the drink at that time.

Then this week we saw Jason Goldsworthy receive a two year disqualification after smoking methamphetamine in the kennel address of Brian Barnsley, whilst the greyhound Rouw was present.

The GRV and GRNSW are very clear on their stance to these “accidental positives”.

Glen Canty – General Manager – Integrity, Racing and Welfare at Greyhound Racing Victoria had the following to say:

“It is the responsibility of the primary carer of a greyhound to ensure that all measures are taken to avoid a greyhound being administered, whether accidentally or not, a prohibited substance.”

“GRV encourage trainers within the sport to take care to avoid exposing their greyhounds to people or substances that could potentially cause them harm.”

Bill Fanning – GRNSW General Manager, Integrity added:

“The prohibited substance rules are absolute offences in the sense that the mere presence in a greyhound constitutes an offence, no matter how that substance entered into a greyhound’s system.”

“GRNSW encourages trainers to take measures to ensure their greyhounds are not exposed to prohibited substances.”

This will pose a problem for Brian Barnsley when he fronts the RADB on the 9th of July. Although he didn’t administer the drugs himself, he has accidentally seen a greyhound under his care exposed to a drug.

As animal welfare and drug issues in the sport continue to be a primary focus for the industry, the excuses of 2009 won’t work in 2014.

Trainers need to be mindful that all actions have consequences and that they can’t play the “blame game” when it comes to alleged accidental administration of prohibited substances to greyhounds under their care. Recent cases have shown that trainers will wear the blame and the excuse can’t be used as a defence.

Jason Goldsworthy Receives Two Year Disqualification For Misconduct

Offence:

Mr. Jason Goldsworthy did in relation to greyhound racing on 1 January 2014 smoke methamphetamine in the kennel address of Mr. Brian Barnsley whilst the greyhound Rouw was present, which in the opinion of stewards was improper or constitutes misconduct.

Report:

Following advice from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of a post-race urine sample taken from greyhound Rouw at the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Wednesday, 1 January 2014.

During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mr. Brian Barnsley, Mr. Jason Goldsworthy (Owner), Mr. Paul Zahra (Racing Analytical Services Laboratory) and Dr. Steven Karamatic (Greyhound Racing Industry Veterinary Officer).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Jason Goldsworthy with a breach of GAR86 (o) in that in relation to greyhound racing on 1 January 2014 he did smoke methamphetamine in the kennel area of the property of Mr. Brian Barnsley whilst the greyhound Rouw was present, which in the opinion of stewards was improper or constitutes misconduct.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules, a breach of GAR86 (o) constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on Monday, 23 June 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M of the Racing Act.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. Jason Goldsworthy did not attend and a plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf.

After hearing all the evidence tendered the RADB determined that Mr. Jason Goldsworthy was guilty as charged and was disqualified for 2 years, effective from Monday, 23 June 2014.

In assessing penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:

(a) The nature of the prohibited substance Methamphetamine;
(b) The need to maintain the integrity of greyhound racing;
(c) Prior penalties for similar offences;
(d) Denunciation of Mr. Goldsworthy’s conduct in the circumstances.

Kevin Wright Disqualified For Androstane Positive Swab

Offence: Mr. Kevin Wright failed to present the greyhound Brass Knocka free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club on Wednesday, 5 February 2014.

Report:

Following advice from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of a post-race urine sample taken from greyhound Brass Knocka at the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Wednesday, 5 February 2014.

During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mr. Kevin Wright, Mr. Paul Zahra (Racing Analytical Services Laboratory) and Dr. Steven Karamatic (Greyhound Racing Industry Veterinary Officer).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Wright with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rules 83(2)(3) and (6) in that he did fail to present the greyhound Brass Knocka free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Wednesday, 5 February 2014 given that the post-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance 5β-Androstane-3α, 17β-diol at a mass concentration greater than 10ng/mL.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules a breach of GAR83 (2)(3) and (6) constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on Monday, 23 June 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Local Racing Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M(1) of the Racing Act.

Mr. Kevin Wright represented himself.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. Kevin Wright pleaded guilty to the charge.

After hearing all the evidence tendered and having regard to GAR83 (6), the RADB determined that Mr. Wright was guilty as charged and disqualified him for 6 months (with 3 months of this penalty suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR83 during the 12 month period), effective from Monday, 23 June 2014.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified Brass Knocka from Event 7 – The Railway Station Hotel Grade 5, T3 – at the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Wednesday, 5 February 2014 and amended the placings accordingly.

In assessing penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:

(a) Mr. Wright’s guilty plea including his evidence and greyhound related commercial activities;
(b) The nature of the prohibited substance Androstane;
(c) The need to maintain the integrity of greyhound racing and ensure a level playing field for all participants;
(d) Prior penalties for similar offences;
(e) Mr. Wright’s character and his clean history in the greyhound industry.

Signs Of The Times

In a remarkable move, Racing Victoria is set to increase Saturday thoroughbred races from eight to nine and reduce the gap between races to 35 minutes. The aim is simply to bring in more cash. It says it will provide “more opportunities” to owners but you can forget that – it is the dollars that count.

While this has no direct effect on greyhound racing, it is consistent with the pattern being pushed by Tabcorp/SKY to ram more races into every 24 hour period, regardless of any “unintended consequences”, of which there are plenty. That’s why we are seeing all sorts of strange French and Swedish trots and oddball gallops from South Africa (a country which bans greyhound racing), to be followed before long by American races, all of which will contain unknown runners at unknown tracks. These are the classic “four-legged poker machines” which Tabcorp favours to repair its ailing tote business.

Some of these do directly impact on greyhound turnover – the South African gallops in particular, so it’s not hard to see that the clear and distinct priorities of betting operators are, first, more turnover to please their shareholders and, a distant second, progressing the Australian racing industry. They are happening on top of an already overcrowded local program which is splitting the race by race betting chunks into smaller and less usable pieces.

Unfortunately, greyhound racing itself has assisted the trend, starting mainly in 2010, when extra meetings were added to an already busy Saturday night. The immediate result was a reduction in turnover on the two biggest betting attractions in the country – Wentworth Park and The Meadows greyhound meetings – which continues to this day. Their volumes are still usable for betting purposes, but only just, and only in the state of origin, especially with more turnover going across to corporate bookmakers. All of which reduces the integrity of the trend-setting TAB prices. Other than the big two, pools of $10,000 or so are the best you can hope for. So don’t put more than $10 on your Quinella choice as you will then be buying back your own money.

To rub salt into the wound, last Saturday night GRV put on an all-maiden meeting at Bendigo to do battle with prime greyhound and harness races. What sort of future does that promise? What were they thinking?

Maybe one fresh idea might come from other sports. Rugby Union is about to get a strong proposal from a group of businessmen (also supporters of the code) to buy up the NSW Waratahs and take them to greater heights. Clubs in Rugby League have already gone down that road – Brisbane, Newcastle and Melbourne. Many others in all codes are effectively controlled by related social clubs anyway.

Maybe a better plan would be to privatise the entire greyhound code, just as happened with the TABs, and gain the weapons to fight fire with fire. Alternatively, with the benefit of hindsight, it is plain that governments would have achieved better results by retaining ownership of the totes and selling off all the codes. If you have to have a monopoly, far better to have the government handle it, thereby offering the opportunity for the public to have a stronger voice. Or any voice, actually.

AROUND THE BETTING RINGS

Day of the Week

At Wenty, pools on Friday night are often shading those on Saturday, although the class of fields on the latter must be a good 30% better. Only the Peter Mossman final broke the pattern with $28,295 on the NSW Win tote. GRNSW is to shift half the Friday dates to provincial tracks in the coming year. Will they do as well? Doubtful.

Who Are Those Guys?

Sisco Rage (WPK R9) was sent out as an extraordinary $2.40 favourite from box 8. Who on earth could have done that, other than die-hard Darren McDonald supporters? It had no special form to speak of, its last good run being back in April when it won a 500m race at Bendigo. It has generally done better from the inside, too. I made it a 20/1 chance and it ran a mediocre 2.5 lengths to a slow 30.34 after coming out stone motherless last and then crossing to the rail. It finished in 2nd place only because of huge disruptions on the first turn.

Not the Real Reason

Notable at Wenty on Saturday were the runs of Keybow (R3) and Lochinvar Impact (R4). Both had box 8, both were favourites, both began poorly, both put their paw on the accelerator and whizzed around the field to lead in the back straight. Tops dogs? Well, yes, although Lochinvar Impact was pipped on the post, but the reason they were able to do that was not just due to their abilities but because the inside division bunched up, slowed down and therefore made space for outside dogs. It’s the nature of that awful run to and around the turn. Many others have done likewise. Anyone for a track re-build?

Clerical Error

Still at Wenty, how is it possible to publish race results with every sectional time wrong (R2, Saturday)? It happens every so often in Victoria, too. Does nobody actually look at these things before they send them off?

And Still No Change

Tasmania continues to tell lies by deliberately posting sectional times against the wrong dogs, while Tabcorp and Tattsbet continue to publish imaginary First Four dividends. When will the truth come out?

Stayers continue to take turns in winning and recording times ranging from ordinary to poor – the latest a miserable 42.48 by Zipping Joe at Sandown last Thursday (record 41.17 by Miata) beating dogs that have previously run much faster. I wonder if trainers have ever thought of giving their charges a month off to roam the paddock and freshen up. Horses and humans do it all the time but not greyhounds, it seems.

And we still have four states, soon to be five, where you are unable to print out a decent copy of the race results – all of which are in the care of GRNSW. Formguides are almost as inaccessible.

Error Firmed Up

The latest plans issued by RWWA and GWA confirm that its Cannington replacement will have a bend start for 600m races. This continues the muddled thinking present in virtually all other Australian clubs to produce designs which make life even more difficult for dogs and punters. Plans for the new track at Logan in Queensland do likewise. Together, that’s around $30 million of punters’ cash being spent badly.

But here’s a suggestion; put all track design in the hands of an experienced jockey. There is no way one of them would make a racing animal suffer a start like that.

Denis Napthine Announces $6.2 Million Upgrade For Traralgon Greyhound Track

A $6.2 million upgrade of the greyhound racing track and patrons’ facilities at Glenview Park, will transform the experience for those watching the dogs at Traralgon.

Premier of Victoria and Minister for Racing, Denis Napthine said the track at Glenview Park was over 40 years old and no longer met modern needs.

“The redevelopment will include the construction of an entirely new track together with a standalone pavilion with modern hospitality services for patrons,” Dr Napthine said.

“Twenty five jobs will be created by this project including fifteen for the track redevelopment and ten for the pavilion construction.”

“This major project will see the old track ripped up and the realignment of the track from a north-south orientation to east-west. All new world-class racing infrastructure and equipment will be installed,” Dr Napthine said.

The new standalone pavilion on the home straight will include:

– Seating for 160 patrons indoors;
– An outdoor deck at the eastern end of the pavilion;
– Ramp access at both the eastern and western ends; and
– A new judges and stewards tower.

Member for Morwell Russell Northe said this fantastic new facility will make greyhound racing at Traralgon a more intimate and user-friendly experience.

“The facility will also be available for non-raceday functions, providing the club with increased opportunities to generate revenue and to establish stronger links with the community,” Mr Northe said.

Greyhound Racing Victoria Chief Executive, Adam Wallish said the funding was vital to ensuring the success of the Victorian racing industry.

“We strongly believe the development of fantastic facilities, both for patrons and greyhound trainers, will attract and retain more participants and enhance the economic benefits flowing to Traralgon and surrounding areas,” Mr Wallish said.

Traralgon Greyhound Racing Cub President, Don Haley said the new patron facilities would allow for more corporate and community functions to be held and would attract new people to the sport of greyhound racing.

“We are proud of our 41-year history here at Glenview Park and are now very excited about the next 41 years. This redevelopment is terrific news for the strong greyhound racing community in the Latrobe Valley,” Mr Haley said.

The Victorian Coalition Government has invested $1.2 million from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund for this project with the balance of $5.02 million being contributed by Greyhound Racing Victoria.

Dr Napthine said the Coalition Government was a strong supporter of the racing industry and the economic benefits and jobs the industry generates.

“Greyhound racing is a major contributor to the Victorian economy, providing more than $315 million in annual economic benefits and over 3,000 jobs across the state,” Dr Napthine said.

“The Coalition Government’s $79.5 million Victorian Racing Industry Fund derived from unclaimed wagering dividends and on-course wagering taxes is focused on further developing these important economic benefits.”

A National Approach To Greyhound Welfare

In February this year, Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) and Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) announced a joint Greyhound Welfare Strategy. As a result of this welfare initiative, the Board of Greyhounds Australasia (GA Board) has endorsed a national approach to animal welfare known as the “Greyhounds Australasia Greyhound Welfare Strategy” (Strategy).

The implementation of the Strategy is intended to ensure that the standards of care and welfare of every greyhound is not impacted by the movement of the greyhound from state to state. In the Strategy, GA has stated that “industry-wide strategies for addressing breeding of unsuitable greyhounds and for the provision of career and retirement opportunities provide the only meaningful method of producing positive change.”

Overall, the national approach will see:

– better education of participants and a requirement that all new participants be assessed on core competencies before obtaining or upgrading a licence;
– greater controls around the breeding of greyhounds;
– promotion of responsible breeding practices;
– a requirement that all greyhounds be under the care of a registered participant unless retired as a pet;
– better inspection and compliance requirements on greyhound properties;
– a star rating system to be used for all greyhound facilities at which greyhounds are housed;
– a tiered trainers licence system which will stipulate how many greyhounds a trainer can train;
– enhancements to the Greyhound Adoption Programs;
– measures to maximise racing opportunities and ensure greyhounds reach their full potential.

Scott Parker (CEO of GA) said the decision was a big win for the industry.

“GA and its members are absolutely committed to achieving the best possible welfare outcomes for its greyhounds. The industry is aiming to achieve the best greyhound welfare outcomes in the world and the national approach is a really important step in that ambition.”

“The industry already has nationally endorsed health and welfare standards and the vast majority of our owners, breeders and trainers treat their greyhounds with great respect. However, with many greyhounds moving regularly from state to state, regulating national welfare outcomes has been difficult,” Mr Parker said.

All states and territories have committed to the full implementation of the strategy over the next three years. Controlling bodies will now engage their registered participants to confirm strategy implementation plans. The GA Welfare Working Party will determine an oversight body to support each jurisdiction with their implementation.

The adoption of welfare initiatives at a national level should see a better, more consistent approach to the welfare of greyhounds. This is something that was needed in the industry and is a positive step towards improving an area of the sport that has been heavily targeted by critics of greyhound racing.

Robert Camilleri Fined And Disqualified On Two Charges

Offences Charged:

(1) GAR86(d) – Mr. Camilleri, being a trainer having official duties in relation to greyhound racing, did make a false or misleading statement on 5 December 2013 regarding Hydrocortisone in the form of Hysone 20mg tablets to Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) stewards Mr. Glenn Fish and Mr. Brayden Jinks and GRV Industry Veterinary Officer Dr. Steven Karamatic during the course of an investigation regarding a swab irregularity taken from the greyhound ‘Luxurious’ on 11 August 2013, in that he denied knowing the nature of the substance Hydrocortisone in the form of Hysone 20mg tablets that was being administered to Greyhounds trained by Mr. Graeme Bate.

(2) GAR86(o) – Mr. Camilleri, in that between on or about 11 August 2012 and 23 October 2013 he did administer or cause to be administered the prohibited substance Hydrocortisone in the form of Hysone 20mg tablets to Greyhounds trained by Mr. Peter Hunt without his knowledge or permission, being conduct which in the opinion of stewards is negligent, improper or constitutes misconduct.

Report

General Following advice from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of a pre-race urine sample taken from greyhound ‘Luxurious’ at the Sale Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Sunday, 11 August 2013.

During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mr. Graeme Bate, Mrs. Beverley Bate (Owner), Mr. Joe Briffa (Trainer), Mr. Robert Camilleri (Trainer), Ms. Amy Cole (Trainer), Ms. Jenny Hunt (Trainer), Mr. Leon Harris (Handler), Ms. Michelle Mallia-Magri (Trainer), Mr. Chris Falcke (Department of Health), Wendy Fasoli (Trainer) and received statements from Dr. Alastair Smith (Sandown Veterinary Clinic), Mr. Paul Zahra (Racing Analytical Services Laboratory), Dr. Steven Karamatic (Greyhound Racing Industry Veterinary Officer), Mr. Glenn Fish (Chief Steward) and Mr. Ron Matthews (Steward).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Camilleri with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rules GAR86 (d) and GAR86 (o) as indicated in changes (1) and (2) above.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules these charges constitute Serious Offences. As a result, on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Local Racing Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M(1) of the Racing Act.

Mr. Robert Camilleri represented himself.

Mr. Robert Camilleri pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Mr. Paul Holdenson QC assisted by Mr. Patrick Considine (Corrs Chambers Westgarth) represented the Stewards Panel.

After hearing all the evidence tendered and having regard to GAR86 (d) and GAR86 (o), the RADB determined that:

(a) in relation to charge (1), Mr. Camilleri was guilty as charged and was fined $500 and disqualified for 3 months; and

(b) in relation to charge (2), Mr. Camilleri was guilty as charged and he was fined $500 and disqualified for 3 months (to commence after the disqualification for charge 1 has been served and wholly suspended for 18 months).

The RADB’s reasons for their decisions were as follows:

Charge 1 – GAR 86(d)

Evidence given by all the parties has been reviewed. As noted by the Stewards, there are inconsistencies in the evidence. Mr. Camilleri claimed at the Stewards Inquiry on 5 December 2013 and at the hearing before us on 26 May 2014 that he didn’t know that the “little white tablets” were Hysone 20mg tablets or that they contained Hydrocortisone; he said he believed they were anti-cramp tablets to be given to those greyhounds who were identified by Mr. Graeme Bate as bad crampers. Mr. Camilleri also claimed that he originally got the tablets from Mr. Bate in a little white container with no label on it, or with the label scratched off, which he kept to prevent the tablets from getting wet. In this regard, his evidence was not confined to the seven loose tablets left on a table at Mr. Bate’s kennels when Stewards arrived to notify Mr. Bate of the Gunda Bale positive swab on 10 May 2013. Mr. Camilleri said that he had used the little white tablets for a couple of years, and had even given four of these tablets to his own racing greyhounds during this period. Mr. Bate said in his evidence that he didn’t know Mr. Camilleri had done this.

From the evidence, the Board is of the view that it is highly unlikely that as at 5 December 2013, Mr. Camilleri did not know that the little white tablets were Hysone 20mg and that they contained Hydrocortisone. The Board notes the following:

1. The tablets were imprinted “H20″.

2. Mr. Camilleri has been a registered greyhound trainer since 1995 and a public trainer for most of this time. While working and residing at Mr. Bate’s property for six years, he has trained a small number of greyhounds and used the little white tablets on his greyhounds on four occasions. It is difficult to believe he would do that not knowing what the tablets really were.

3. Ms. Amy Cole, who was responsible for looking after one of the sheds at the Bate property during the time that Mr. Camilleri was there, knew that Hysone tablets were being used at the Bate property in 2012 as, according to the evidence of Ms. Michelle Mallia-Magri, another greyhound trainer for whom Amy worked for a short time, Amy suggested Michelle try them on her greyhounds. It would seem very surprising if others working at the Bate property, particularly Mr. Camilleri and Mr. Joe Briffa (both experienced trainers in their own right and in charge of the Bate operations when Mr Bate was not there) did not know at least at a similar time to Ms. Cole of the use of the Hysone tablets there.

4. Mr. Bate was notified by GRV Stewards on 24 October 2013 that a swab taken from the greyhound “Luxurious” at the Sale Greyhound Racing Club meeting on 11 August 2013 had shown the presence of the prohibited substance free Hydrocortisone at an unusual or abnormal amount of an endogenous substance. At the time of the notification Mr. Camilleri was present and telephoned Mr. Bate to inform him of the Stewards’ visit and Mr. Bate subsequently arrived and talked with the Stewards. This positive swab probably arose because, at the time of the notification of Gunda Bale positive swab, Stewards took one of the seven loose tablets which Dr. Steven Karamatic (GRV Veterinary Officer and present with the Stewards at that visit) found on a table at the Bate kennels, and took it to Racing Analytical Services Ltd on 13 May 2013 for analysis. RASL confirmed that the tablet contained Hydrocortisone (Refer witness statement of Dr Steven Karamatic). Mr. Bate said in his interview with Stewards on 24 October 2013 that he had thrown away all the remaining Hysone tablets because Stewards were constantly swabbing his dogs, so he knew Stewards “must have been looking for levels” and he stopped using them. Even if Mr. Camilleri did not know up until then what the “little white tablets” were (which we doubt), it is difficult to believe that he would not have been told or at least noticed that there was a change in Mr. Bate’s medication regime (that is, no more “little white tablets”) and to enquire as to the reason. Mr. Bate’s evidence on 10 December 2013 states that he didn’t tell Joe (Briffa) and Rob (Camilleri) initially, but “since this (presumably the Luxurious swab result), naturally Joe and Rob found out (page 54). Mrs. Bate was even more forthright in her second interview with Stewards on 24 February 2014 when she said that Rob and Joe knew what the (little white) tablets were.

In his interviews on 5 December 2013 and before this hearing on 26 May 2014, Mr. Camilleri denied any knowledge of what the little white tablets were. They were to be used, at Mr. Bate’s direction, for those dogs which were bad crampers. Mr. Camilleri said he knew nothing more about them. The particulars of charge 1 require the Board, on the Briginshaw standard, to be comfortably satisfied that on 5 December 2013, Mr. Camilleri knew “the nature of the substance Hydrocortisone in the form of Hysone 20mg tablets being administered to greyhounds trained by Mr. Graeme Bate”. Even accepting that Mr. Camilleri did not know that the little white tablets were Hysone 20mg and that they contained Hydrocortisone (and this is somewhat of a stretch given other evidence), we are comfortably satisfied that he would have known this on 5 December 2013. As an experienced public trainer with his own greyhounds, it seems to defy common sense to believe that he did not know these things by this time. His statements and his actions (or lack of obvious enquiry) may have been guided by his loyalty to Mr. Bate and his fellow workers. Indeed, all of those people who gave evidence in early December 2013, maintained a similar line of denying knowledge of what the little white tablet was. But even knowing that it was an additional tablet for the bad crampers (whereas the Pharma Mag tablets were for the “ordinary” crampers and the Pharma Mag name was always used) and then using these tablets for his own greyhounds should have put Mr. Camilleri in a position of finding out for himself what the tablets were and what was in them. We believe any reasonable trainer in Mr. Camilleri’s position would have done so. We also note that Mr. Briffa and Ms. Cole, who were both charged with a similar offence to Mr. Camilleri and who denied knowledge of what the little white tablet was in their interviews with the Stewards in December 2013, pleaded guilty to their respective charges before this Board. Therefore it is almost unbelievably strange that given his role in Mr. Bate’s operations, it was only Mr. Camilleri who did not at 5 December 2013 know about the Hysone tablets and that they contained Hydrocortisone.

The Board noted that in the course of submissions made by Mr. Camilleri after delivery of this finding that he conceded that when interviewed by the Stewards on 5 December 2013 he was aware of the nature of the substance Hydrocortisone and the 20 mg Hysone tablets and had been so aware since about 24 October 2013.

The Board finds Mr. Camilleri guilty on charge 1.

Charge 2 – GAR 86(o)

If we accepted Mr. Camilleri’s claims on charge 1, then administering the little white tablets to greyhounds trained by Mr. Peter Hunt without his knowledge or permission may be even more negligent or improper than it might otherwise be. Mr. Camilleri claimed that he was only guilty of what Mr. Bate directed. In his mind, given the family relationship (Mr Hunt being Mrs. Bate’s son), Mr Hunt’s dogs were Mr Bate’s dogs – part of the overall Bate kennel operations. Nevertheless Mr. Camilleri is an experienced public trainer who knew of Mr Hunt’s illness and he should have enquired further as to Mr Hunt’s knowledge or permission to the administration of the tablets. Otherwise he was exposing Mr. Hunt (as trainer) and those greyhounds to which the tablets were given, to a potential positive swab and the consequences and penalties that flow from that.

In the circumstances the Board are comfortably satisfied that Mr. Camilleri’s conduct is negligent and improper and in breach of GAR 86(o). The Board finds Mr. Camilleri guilty on charge 2.

In assessing penalties, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:

(a) Mr. Camilleri’s not guilty pleas;
(b) The nature of the prohibited substance Hydrocortisone;
(c) The need to maintain the integrity of greyhound racing and ensure a level playing field
for all participants;
(d) Prior penalties for similar offences, including those associated with other persons charged
in the ‘Luxurious’ swab irregularity matter;
(e) Mr. Camilleri’s character and his clean history (very minor prior offences) in the
greyhound industry;
(f) Mr. Camilleri’s false statements impeded Stewards in their investigations; and
(g) Mr. Camilleri’s conduct in relation to charge (2) was over a lengthy period of time.

GRV Stewards Lodge Appeal To Bate Sanction

Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) Stewards have lodged an appeal of two of the sanctions delivered by the independent Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) in the case of Mr Graeme Bate, which they believe to be manifestly inadequate given the nature of the breaches.

Mr Graeme Bate pleaded guilty to five serious offences under the Greyhounds Australasia Rules (GAR) before the RADB on Tuesday 10 June 2014. The charges to which Mr Bate pleaded guilty include; administering a prohibited substance to a greyhound under his care, administering a prohibited substance to greyhounds trained by another person, procuring tablets for the purpose of administering to greyhounds and making a false and misleading statement.

Across the five charges, the RADB imposed penalties totalling 24 months disqualification and $1000 in fines.

Stewards have the right to appeal the RADB’s decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) under the Racing Act (1958).

Glen Canty, General Manager – Integrity, Racing and Welfare at GRV, commented that the decision of the RADB in regard to two of the sanctions does not send a strong enough message about the seriousness of the rule breaches.

“The decision to disqualify Mr Bate for a period of two years was too lenient in our opinion and after internal
discussions, GRV Stewards have decided to lodge an appeal,” Mr Canty said.

GRV will make no further comment about this matter until it is heard at VCAT

Graeme Bate Receives 24 Months Disqualification And $1000 In Fines

Offences Charged:

(1) GAR83(1) – In that Mr. Bate, the trainer of the greyhound Luxurious, which was nominated to compete in an Event, namely, Race 8, the Liam and Taryn syndicate – Mixed 3&4,conducted by Sale Greyhound Racing Club at Sale on 11 August 2013, did administer or cause to be administered the prohibited substance Hydrocortisone for the purpose of affecting the greyhound’s condition, behaviour or performance in the Event.

(2) GAR83(2) and (3) – In that Mr. Bate, the trainer of the greyhound Luxurious, which was nominated to compete in an event, namely, race 8, the Liam and Taryn syndicate – Mixed 3&4, conducted by the Sale Greyhound Racing Club at Sale on 11 August 2013, did fail on that date to present the greyhound free of any prohibited substance, given that a pre race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of a prohibited substance, namely an unusual or abnormal amount of Hydrocortisone.

(3) GAR86(o) – In that Mr. Bate did make a false or misleading statement on 24 October 2013 regarding the presence of the substance Hydrocortisone in the form of Hysone 20mg tablets at his property at Lara, to Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) Stewards Mr. Glenn Fish and Mr. Ron Matthews and GRV Industry Veterinary Officer Dr Steven Karamatic during the course of an investigation regarding a swab irregularity taken from the greyhound ‘Luxurious’ on 11 August 2013, which in the opinion of Stewards was dishonest, improper or constitutes misconduct.

(4) GAR86(o) – In that Mr. Bate did procure up to six thousand (6000) Hysone 20mg tablets between on or about 11 August 2012 and 6 July 2013 on behalf of Mr Peter Hunt without his knowledge or permission, which in the opinion of Stewards was dishonest, improper, or constitutes misconduct.

(5) GAR86(o) – In that between on or about 11 August 2012 and 23 October 2013 Mr. Bate did administer or cause to be administered the prohibited substance Hydrocortisone, in the form of Hysone 20mg tablets, to greyhounds trained by Mr Peter Hunt without his knowledge or permission, being conduct which in the opinion of Stewards is dishonest, improper or constitutes misconduct.

(6) GAR86(o) – In that Mr. Bate, did procure up to seven thousand two hundred (7200) Hysone 20mg tablets containing the prohibited substance Hydrocortisone between on or about 7 May 2012 and 3 April 2013 for the purpose of administering to greyhounds, which in the opinion of Stewards was dishonest, improper, or constitutes misconduct.

Report

General – General Following advice from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of a pre-race urine sample taken from greyhound ‘Luxurious’ at the Sale Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Sunday, 11 August 2013.

During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mr. Graeme Bate, Mrs. Beverley Bate (Owner), Mr. Joe Briffa (Trainer), Mr. Robert Camilleri (Trainer), Ms. Amy Cole (Trainer), Ms. Jenny Hunt (Trainer), Mr. Leon Harris (Handler), Ms. Michelle Mallia-Magri (Trainer), Mr. Chris Falcke (Department of Health), Wendy Fasoli (Trainer) and received statements from Dr. Alastair Smith (Sandown Veterinary Clinic), Mr. Paul Zahra
(Racing Analytical Services Laboratory), Dr. Steven Karamatic (Greyhound Racing Industry Veterinary Officer), Mr. Glenn Fish (Chief Steward) and Mr. Ron Matthews (Steward).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Bate with breaches of Greyhounds Australasia Rules as indicated in charges (1) to (6) above.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules these charges constitute Serious Offences. As a result, on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Local Racing Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M(1) of the Racing Act.

Mr. Graeme Bate was represented by Ms. Carmen Randazzo SC, instructed by Mr. Rowan Slattery.

Mr. Paul Holdenson QC assisted by Mr. Patrick Considine (Corrs Chambers Westgarth) represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. Graeme Bate pleaded guilty to charges (1) and (3) to (6). Charge 2 was not initially put for a plea. Upon Mr. Bate pleading guilty to charge (1), Charge (2) was withdrawn.

After hearing all the evidence tendered and having regard to GAR83 (1) and GAR86 (o), the RADB determined that:

(a) in relation to charge (1), Mr. Bate was guilty as charged and he was disqualified for 12 months;

(b) in relation to charge (3), Mr. Bate was guilty as charged. His conduct was regarded as improper and he was fined $500 and disqualified for 3 months;

(c) in relation to charge (4), Mr. Bate was guilty as charged. His conduct was regarded as dishonest and he was fined $500 and disqualified for 6 months;

(d) in relation to charge (5), Mr. Bate was guilty as charged. His conduct was regarded as improper and he was disqualified for 6 months (with 3 months of this disqualification to be served concurrently with the disqualification penalty for charge 4); and

(e) in relation to charge (6), Mr. Bate was guilty as charged and was disqualified for 6 months (to be served concurrently with the disqualification penalty for charge 4);

In assessing penalties, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:

(a) The nature of the charge;
(b) Mr. Bate’s guilty pleas;
(c) The nature of the prohibited substance Hydrocortisone;
(d) The need to maintain the integrity of greyhound racing and ensure a level playing field for all participants;
(e) Prior penalties for Mr. Bate and others for similar offences, including those penalties associated with other persons charged in the ‘Luxurious’ swab irregularity matter;
(f) Mr. Bate had the main role in the operations of his kennels including what medications were to be administered;
(g) Mr. Bate’s conduct was over a lengthy period of time; and
(h) Mr. Bate was a leading greyhound trainer with significant contributions to the industry over many years.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified ‘Luxurious’ from Event 8 – LIAM TARYN SYND Mixed 440m – at the Sale Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Sunday, 11 August 2013 and amended the placings accordingly.

GRV Introduces Fines for Lax Retirement Reporting

Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) will become the first greyhound racing authority in Australia to monitor unnamed greyhounds that are inactive within the sport from July 1 2014 and will institute a late lodgement fee for members that are non-compliant with their retirement reporting.

From 1 July 2014, GRV will institute a late lodgement fee if a retirement has not been completed for a named greyhound and the greyhound has been identified as inactive in the racing industry for over six months. This will apply to all greyhounds born on or after 1 January 2011. Members will be given prior notice if their greyhounds fall into this category and will be encouraged to complete a retirement form if the greyhound is no longer a racing prospect.

The late lodgement fee for unnamed greyhounds will be introduced on 1 January 2015.

Although retirement reporting has been a requirement under the rules of racing for several years (GAR 106), GRV has focussed on educating participants in regards to their responsibilities. There will now be an even greater focus on enforcing these requirements as the organisation has become much better equipped and resourced to track all greyhounds.

General Manager – Integrity, Racing and Welfare at GRV, Glen Canty, said this was an important step in the being able to accurately monitor all greyhounds within the racing industry.

“We are very serious about the welfare of the greyhound at GRV and will be enforcing a number of stringent reporting measures for those participants that aren’t complying with our greyhound retirement policy,” Mr Canty said.

“The five-year Strategic Plan identified Greyhound Welfare as one of the most important areas to address and we at GRV see the appropriate and timely reporting of retirements as one of the main regulatory changes that needed to be introduced to increase the accountability of its members.”

“GRV is unwavering in its desire to improve all greyhound welfare practices and that’s why we are putting systems in place to track every greyhound through its life with quantifiable statistics to assist with the determination of further strategies to address welfare matters.”

“We have the ambitious and achievable objective to decrease the number of healthy greyhounds that are euthanised by 40% over the next five years in addition to increasing the quality of litters bred in the state, leading to 70% of all greyhounds bred making it to the track.”

Given that GRV is about to commence following up unnamed greyhounds that have fallen inactive, it is important for participants to ensure that any unnamed greyhounds that have been sold or are with new owners are correctly transferred otherwise members risk being fined for non-compliance as the last registered owner. There is no fee attached to the transfers of unnamed greyhounds.

GRV take the issue of greyhound welfare very seriously and will not tolerate improper reporting of a greyhound’s whereabouts. This is a major undertaking for GRV and its Integrity, Racing and Welfare Department.

David Rowan Fined And Disqualified For Failing To Attend Hearing

Offence : Failing to attend an Inquiry on Thursday, 8 May 2014, when directed to do so by the Stewards.

Report : The Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria propose to open an inquiry into certain conduct of Mr. David Rowan. The inquiry was called for on Thursday, 8 May 2014 at Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club.

Mr. Rowan failed to attend the inquiry. Stewards charged Mr. David Rowan with a breach of GAR86 (e) which provides that being an owner, trainer attendant or person having official duties in relation to greyhound racing, who refuses or fails to attend or give evidence or produce a document or other thing at an inquiry held pursuant to these Rules when directed by the Controlling Body, Stewards or the committee of a club to do so, commits an offence.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules, a breach of GAR86 (e) constitutes a Serious Offence.

As a result, on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M of the Racing Act.

Mr. David Rowan appeared via telephone for the hearing of the charge, however he was not available to hear the outcome after several attempts were made to call him.

Mr. David Rowan pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

After hearing all the evidence tendered the RADB determined that Mr. David Rowan was guilty of failing to attend an Inquiry on Wednesday, 8 May 2014, when directed to do so by the Stewards.

He was fined the sum of $500 and disqualified for at least 1 month effective from midnight Wednesday, 28 May 2014 and (if necessary) thereafter until he attends an inquiry of the stewards to be scheduled within a reasonable time in relation to the matters the subject of their letter to him of 7 April 2014.

In assessing penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:

(a) Mr. Rowan’s not guilty plea;
(d) Prior penalties for a similar charge;
(c) Mr. Rowan’s attitude in the hearing

Gregory Couldridge Disqualified For Androstane Positive Swab

Offence: Mr. Gregory Couldridge failed to present the greyhound Super Leggera free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club on Saturday, 21 December 2013.

Report: Following advice from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation into the results of a post-race urine sample taken from greyhound Super Leggera at the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Saturday, 21 December 2013.

During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mr. Gregory Couldridge, Mr. Paul Zahra (Racing Analytical Services Laboratory) and Dr. Steven Karamatic (Greyhound Racing Industry Veterinary Officer).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Couldridge with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rules 83(2)(3) and (6) in that he did fail to present the greyhound Super Leggera free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Saturday, 21 December 2013 given that the post-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance 5β-Androstane-3α, 17β-diol at a mass concentration greater than 10ng/mL.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules a breach of GAR83 (2)(3)and (6) constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Local Racing Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M(1) of the Racing Act.

Mr. Gregory Couldridge represented himself.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. Gregory Couldridge pleaded guilty to the charge.

After hearing all the evidence tendered and having regard to GAR83 (6), the RADB determined that Mr. Couldridge was guilty as charged and disqualified him for 6 months (with 3 months of this penalty suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR83 during the 12 month period), effective from Friday, 30 May 2014.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified Super Leggera from Event 2 – TAB REWARDS Grade 5 425m – at the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Saturday, 21 December 2013 and amended the placings accordingly.

In assessing penalty, the Board took into account all the evidence and submissions, including the following matters:

(a) Mr. Couldridge’s guilty plea;
(b) The nature of the prohibited substance Androstane;
(c) The need to maintain the integrity of greyhound racing and ensure a level playing field for all participants;
(d) Prior penalties for similar offences;
(e) Mr. Couldridge’s character and his clean history in the greyhound industry.

Michael Chilcott Fined $500 For Accessing GRV Computer

Offence : Incident that occurred in the kennel area of the Shepparton Greyhound Racing Club on the 12th of May, 2014 where Mr. Michael Chilcott accessed a Greyhound Racing Victoria Computer prior to the running of race five.

Stewards on the 15th of May 2014, conducted an Inquiry into an incident that occurred in the kennel area of the Shepparton Greyhound Racing Club on the 12th of May, 2014, where Mr. Michael Chilcott accessed a GRV computer prior to the running of race five.

After hearing the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Chilcott with a breach of GAR86(q) in that he engaged in conduct by way of accessing a GRV computer in the kennel area of the Shepparton Greyhound Racing Club which in the opinion of Stewards was detrimental to the interest, image and control of greyhound racing.

Mr. Chilcott pleaded guilty to the charge.

Stewards found Mr. Chilcott guilty and fined him the sum of $500, with $250 wholly suspended for a period of twelve months, pending no further breaches of GAR86(q) and GAR86(o).

Kenneth Robins Fined For Not Providing Veterinary Care

Offence : Mr. Kenneth Robins failed to ensure the unnamed greyhound ear brand VBSJN microchip number 9560 0000 8225 774 which was in his care or custody, was provided at all times on or between 14 February 2014 and 20 February 2014 with veterinary attention when necessary.

Report : Following an Inquiry into the circumstances relating to a greyhound at Mr. Robins training facility, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation.

During the investigation, Stewards heard evidence from Mr. Kenneth Robins (Trainer), Mr.Adam Evans (GRV welfare and compliance officer), Ms. Ruth Gore (Eastwood Vets) and Dr.Horace Tang (Ballarat Veterinary Clinic).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Kenneth Robins with a breach of GAR106 (1) (d) in that being a licensed trainer he failed to ensure the unnamed greyhound ear brand VBSJN microchip number 9560 0000 8225 774 which was in his care or custody, was provided at all times on or between 14 February 2014 and 20 February 2014 with veterinary attention when necessary.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules, a breach of GAR106 (1) (d) constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on Tuesday, 6 May 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M of the Racing Act.

Mr. Kenneth Robins represented himself.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. Kenneth Robins pleaded not guilty to the charge.

After hearing all the evidence tendered the RADB determined that Mr. Kenneth Robins was guilty as charged and he was fined the sum of $1,000 which was wholly suspended for 12 months pending no similar breaches of the Rules of Greyhound Racing during this period.

Steven Rabl Receives Suspended Fine And Has Registration Cancelled

Offences :

(a) Mr. Steven Rabl as a registered trainer, disposed of four greyhound pups, by the way of drowning, on or around Tuesday, 11 February 2014, which in the opinion of Stewards was improper and constituted misconduct.

(b) Mr. Steven Rabl being a registered trainer, did fail to exercise reasonable care to prevent two greyhound pups that were in your care and custody from being subjected to unnecessary pain and suffering, which in the opinion of Stewards was improper, or constitutes misconduct.

REPORT:

Following an incident at Murtoa on or around Tuesday, 11 February 2014, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation.

During the investigation, Stewards heard evidence from registered trainer Mr. Steven Rabl and Mr. Greg

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Kenneth Robins Receives Suspended $1000 Fine

Offence : Mr. Kenneth Robins failed to ensure the unnamed greyhound ear brand VBSJN microchip number 9560 0000 8225 774 which was in his care or custody, was provided at all times on or between 14 February 2014 and 20 February 2014 with veterinary attention when necessary.

Following an Inquiry into the circumstances relating to a greyhound at Mr. Robins training facility, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation.

During the investigation, Stewards heard evidence from Mr. Kenneth Robins (Trainer), Mr. Adam Evans (GRV welfare and compliance officer), Ms. Ruth Gore (Eastwood Vets) and Dr. Horace Tang (Ballarat Veterinary Clinic).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Kenneth Robins with a breach of GAR106 (1) (d) in that being a licensed trainer he failed to ensure the unnamed greyhound ear brand VBSJN microchip number 9560 0000 8225 774 which was in his care or custody, was provided at all times on or between 14 February 2014 and 20 February 2014 with veterinary attention when necessary.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules, a breach of GAR106 (1) (d) constitutes a Serious Offence. As a result, on Tuesday, 6 May 2014 this matter was heard before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in the first instance under Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rule 47.3 and Sections 83C(b) and 83M of the Racing Act.

Mr. Kenneth Robins represented himself.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. Kenneth Robins pleaded not guilty to the charge.

After hearing all the evidence tendered the RADB determined that Mr. Kenneth Robins was guilty as charged and he was fined the sum of $1,000 which was wholly suspended for 12 months pending no similar breaches of the Rules of Greyhound Racing during this period.

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