Russell Harland Suspended Four Months For Positive Swab

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards have completed an inquiry into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Rebel Rumble – after that greyhound had won Race 9 at the Tamworth Greyhound Club’s meeting on 27 July 2013 – had been analysed and confirmed to contain the prohibited substance caffeine and its metabolites theophylline, paraxanthine and theobromine.

Evidence was taken from trainer Russell Harland, Linda Harland and from Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley. Written evidence was submitted from the ARFL Senior Veterinarian, Dr Craig Suann, the ARFL, Racing Science Centre, QLD, Mr Harland and GRNSW.

Mr Harland could offer no tangible reason for the finding. Evidence from the ARFL indicated a level of the substances found in the high comparative range.

Mr Harland was found guilty of a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) in that he presented Rebel Rumble for the race in question other than free of any prohibited substance.

Following submissions on penalty, Mr Harland was disqualified for a period of four months, to expire at midnight on 18 May 2014, having regard to the suspension of Mr Harland’s registration under the provisions of GAR 92 (5) from 19 January 2014.

In assessing penalty, consideration was given to Mr Harland’s record of having only one previous prohibited substance breach in 1995 during more than 40 years of registration, a relatively high number of cleared samples taken in this period, his not guilty plea, the fact that Mr Harland mainly prepares greyhounds for others and his personal circumstances, the particular substance involved and its high reported level, and the absence of any significant kennel support for Rebel Rumble.

Consideration was also given to Mr Harland’s previous involvement at an official level with race clubs and representative bodies.

Rebel Rumble was disqualified from the event and the placings amended accordingly.

Edmund O’Brien Fined $500 For Pentobarbitone Positive

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards have completed an inquiry into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Black Laurel – after that greyhound had won Race 7 at the Goulburn Greyhound Club’s meeting on 3 September 2013 – had been analysed and confirmed to contain the prohibited substance pentobarbitone.

Evidence was taken from trainer Edmund O’Brien and from Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley. Written evidence was submitted from ARFL Senior Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann, the ARFL, Racing Analytical Services, VIC, and from GRNSW.

Mr O’Brien could offer no definitive reason for the laboratory findings, however, evidence from studies conducted previously indicate a possibility of the substance being contained in stock used for pet mince that is fed to greyhounds, having regard to the particular level reported in this urine sample.

Mr O’Brien pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) in that he presented Black Laurel for the race in question other than free of any prohibited substance in that the urine sample taken from the greyhound after the race was found on confirmatory analysis to have contained pentobarbitone.

Following submissions on penalty, Mr O’Brien was fined $500.

In assessing penalty, consideration was given to Mr O’Brien’s record of having only one previous prohibited substance breach in 1998 in more than 16 years of registration, his plea entered, his personal circumstances, the particular substance involved and penalties previously imposed in respect of such findings and the absence of any significant kennel support for Black Laurel.

Black Laurel was disqualified from the event and the placings amended accordingly.

Daniel Bicchieri Suspension Recommenced

Offence:

The period of penalty imposed on a person who is disqualified or warned off shall automatically be deemed to have recommenced as from the most recent date of the person breaching Rule 99.

Stewards on the 17 February, 2014 conducted an Inquiry into a breach of GAR 99, (Effect of disqualification, suspension, warning off or being declared a defaulter) by Mr. Bicchieri in that did participate in a breeding program with the greyhound Calabrese Gina, of which he was the registered owner.

The particulars being that the greyhound Calabrese Gina was mated with Cosmic Rumble, whilst Mr.Bicchieri was serving a period of disqualification.

Stewards heard evidence from Mr. Bicchieri.

After considering the evidence, Stewards deemed the penalty imposed on Mr. Bicchieri by VCAT on 8 November 2013 to have recommenced on 12 January 2014. The penalty being 12 months disqualification with 8 months suspended pending no further breaches of GAR 86 for 12 months.

Julie Brodie Suspended And Fined For Positive Swab

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards have completed an inquiry into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Rodrigo Diaz – after that greyhound had won Race 9 at the Bulli Greyhound Club’s meeting on 25 September 2013 – had been analysed and confirmed to contain the prohibited substance 6alpha-hydroxystanozolol, a metabolite of stanozolol.

Evidence was taken from trainer Julie Brodie, registered attendant Paul Brodie and from Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley. Written evidence was submitted from ARFL Senior Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann, the ARFL, Racing Analytical Services, VIC, Ms Brodie and GRNSW.

The inquiry heard Ms Brodie had administered 0.25 mls to Rodrigo Diaz from an old vial of the preparation Stanozol on two occasions in late April and early May, to treat an injury. This was supported by written records for Rodrigo Diaz that were kept updated regularly by Ms Brodie. It was unable to conclusively establish if this could be the reason for the findings of the laboratories, despite the known retention times of Stanozol metabolites in the systems of mammals. The inquiry also heard of the danger of using out of date substances, particularly substances falling within the schedule of veterinary medicines.

Ms Brodie subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) in that she presented Rodrigo Diaz for the race in question other than free of any prohibited substance in that the urine sample taken from the greyhound after the race was found on confirmatory analysis to have contained 6alpha-hydroxystanozolol.

Following submissions on penalty, Ms Brodie was suspended for a period of four months, to expire at midnight on 11 June 2014. In addition she was fined $500.

In assessing penalty, consideration was given to Ms Brodie’s record of having only one previous prohibited substance breach in 1995 during more than 34 years of registration, her guilty plea, her hobby status and personal circumstances with only three greyhounds in work, the particular substance involved and its moderate reported level, her assistance to both the inquiry and on notification of the irregularity, as well as the absence of any significant kennel support for Rodrigo Diaz.

Notwithstanding this, stewards considered that the lack of official advice sought prior to administering an out of date Schedule 8 substance to treat a greyhound had displayed negligence.

Rodrigo Diaz was disqualified from the event and the placings amended accordingly.

Dobrivoje Stojanov Disqualified For Heptaminol Positive Swab

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards have finalised an inquiry into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Angels Of Gail – after that greyhound won Race 9 at the Goulburn Greyhound Club’s meeting on 31 July 2013 – had been analysed and confirmed to contain the prohibited substance heptaminol.

Evidence was taken from trainer Dobrivoje Stojanov and from Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley. Written evidence was submitted from ARFL Senior Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann, the ARFL, Racing Analytical Services, VIC, and GRNSW.

The inquiry heard that Mr Stojanov had administered 6 mls of the preparation Dynajec, which had been purchased to replace Dynacliene, the substance he had previously used without issue to aid in tying up of his greyhounds. Dynajec contains the substance heptaminol as an active ingredient. The administration occurred only six hours prior to the race, leading to a comparatively high level of heptaminol reported in the sample.

Mr Stojanov subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) in that he presented Angels Of Gail for the race in question other than free of any prohibited substance in that the urine sample taken from the greyhound after the race was found on confirmatory analysis to have contained heptaminol.

Following submissions on penalty, Mr Stojanov was disqualified for a period of four months, to expire at midnight on 5 June 2014.

In assessing penalty consideration was given to Mr Stojanov’s previously unblemished record over 12 years of registration, his guilty plea, his hobby status, the particular substance involved and its high reported level, his assistance to both the inquiry and on notification of the irregularity, and the absence of any significant kennel support for Angels Of Gail. Mr Stojanov displayed obvious contrition during the course of the inquiry and his personal presentation was regarded as a mitigating factor in assessment of penalty.

Notwithstanding this, stewards considered the lack of official advice sought prior to changing the substance used as a display of negligence, and the specific and general deterrence required in this case was at the higher end of the scale.

Angels Of Gail was disqualified from the event and the placings amended accordingly.

Noel McCaskie Receives Suspended $500 Fine For Pholcodine Positive

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards have completed an inquiry into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Ho Hey – after it won Race 9 at the Maitland Greyhound Club’s meeting on 19 September 2013 – had been analysed and confirmed to contain the prohibited substance pholcodine.

Evidence was taken from trainers Noel McCaskie and Kerrie Davis, as well as from Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley. Written evidence was submitted from ARFL Senior Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann, the ARFL, Racing Science Centre, QLD and GRNSW. Mr McCaskie also tendered written material relative to the substance and its properties.

Following submissions from Mr McCaskie and Ms Davis, stewards were satisfied that Mr McCaskie had been responsible for the preparation and presentation of Ho Hey for the race and therefore came under the purvey of GAR 83 (2) (a).

The inquiry heard that while in Mr McCaskie’s care, between the dates of 28 July to 4 August, Ho Hey had been treated for kennel cough and had been administered 3 mls of Benadryl dry tickly cough formulation, which contains pholcodine, twice daily. The substance is known for its lengthy retention in the system of a greyhound.

Mr McCaskie subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) in that he presented Ho Hey for the race in question other than free of any prohibited substance.

Following submissions on penalty, Mr McCaskie was fined $500. Acting under the provisions of GAR 95 (3), the penalty was suspended in full for a period of 12 months, conditional on Mr McCaskie not breaching the rules relating to prohibited substances in that period.

Having regard to the particular personal circumstances involved in this case, Ms Davis was issued with a reprimand regarding presentation of a greyhound in her name and reminded of the possible implications evident in this matter.

In assessing penalty, consideration was given to Mr McCaskie’s previously unblemished record over nearly 16 years of registration, his guilty plea, the extremely low level of the substance reported which was equivalent to the lowest ever recorded, his assistance to both the inquiry and on notification of the irregularity, references supplied and the absence of any significant kennel support for Ho Hey. Accurate documentation supporting the treatment regime was produced to the inquiry.

It was the opinion of the stewards that Mr McCaskie had a reasonable belief that the administration regime adopted would have resulted in the absence of any substance being present at the time of presentation.

Ho Hey was disqualified from the event and the placings amended accordingly.

Playing With Figures – Not Kindergarten Stuff (Part 3- final)

So far, the NSW parliamentary hearings have heard a stack of evidence from a range of racing authorities, animal welfare types, bookies and lawyers. All of them naturally pushed their own wares but very little of that touched on who the industry’s customers were and what their preferences might be.

Yet, together with willing owners, they are the only people bringing in fresh funds to pay for wages and prizes and keep the industry on the go. Everybody else, including the government, is taking cash out or shifting the same stuff round and round the same old circle. But although punters are “taxed”, they have no representation. They get little attention from racing authorities, whose major resources go into counting money and regulating trainers. Even their advisory groups don’t always contain a punter’s nominee.

Bookies are keen to see commission rates kept down and offshore operators discouraged, all of which is understandable. Lower rates will help then promote more and build the market, they point out. True enough, but they still fail to tell us how that market is made up, or how it is changing.

For example, in recent times both bookies and TABs have introduced a fresh gimmick – Fixed Odds – which has proved quite popular and is taking business away from the normal tote. That’s good for the betting operators because they price them well above the rates on the tote, using books of 130% compared with 114.5% for Win bets. That’s like selling petrol at $1.70 a litre when everyone else is charging $1.50. Since they all do the same thing, competition is minimal and they get away with it.

Conversely, it is not much help for punters. At those rates they would find it impossible to make profits over a period. Put another way, those using Fixed Odds are either not aware or not concerned about the rip-off prices. Yet it threatens the first law of punting – both sides should have a chance of winning.

This gives us a lead into the punter or gambler profile. Many are clearly not sophisticated enough to look for the value which might give them a chance of making profits. There are plenty of other indicators as well.

Over two decades there has been a gradual decline in the proportion of punters betting to win on the tote. At the dogs, consistent overbetting on favourites has made that product less rewarding. Instead, high-return multiples such as Big Six and First Four have grown in importance.

Mystery bets are popular and are pushed by TABs in advertising and in the way betting tickets are prominently displayed. Mathematically, these are guaranteed losers due to (a) boxing runners which have different chances of winning and (b) a higher takeout by the TAB. Yet they still sell.

The strength of the Mystery market is emphasised by the fact that Quinella and Trifecta dividends are distorted and normally pay well below true market odds. (Mystery bets typically offer a package split between Win, Quinella and Trifecta bets).

sales of formguides have fallen away and the free ones produced by GRNSW (the majority) are impractical, often incomplete, and their usage is doubtful, while gamblers are turning to tipsters of varying quality and who frequently suggest boxed bets. As above, these are all winners for the house, even before the race starts. Serious punters would not go that way but mug gamblers would.

NSW wall sheet formguides in TAB outlets were never great, but are now being replaced by touch screen versions which are more cumbersome to use and contain only half the information. Similarly, personal attention at ticket counters is being replaced by touch screen betting machines which are fine for those familiar with them but messy and error-prone for newcomers. They give no change, only vouchers which have to be cashed in later (if the office is open).

There is a concerted push towards arming hand-held devices with racing information and betting facilities. That’s good as far as it goes. However, the physical limits of this fast-growing sector means investors will have less comprehensive information to deal with, probably less time to consider it, and will tend to rely on tipsters of variable quality.

Continuing increases in race frequency, often resulting in overlapping starts, have reduced the amount of cash bet per race, thereby making them very difficult for serious punters to assess. Win pools of $10,000 and below are normal, except at popular weekend meetings. However, only about half that amount will be visible to punters before they need to make a bet.

The last trend is exacerbated by greyhound authorities’ actions to schedule more racing, despite a static dog population, thereby promoting more low standard dogs to compete in TAB races. Any success in improving total turnover is then countered by a decline in average field quality and therefore more erratic outcomes. Another deterrent to serious punters.

These events can be summed up only by concluding that the industry is now being energised by the mug gambler, unable or uninterested in studying the pros and cons of a race, or in working out what sort of dogs do well, and in what circumstances. Such people come and go, probably not bothering to become genuine fans. There is nothing wrong with this business in isolation, but not when they heavily influence tote prices.

Allowing the code’s fortunes to rest on such a customer mix should surely be at the top of the inquiry’s worry list. If the trends continue it means racing bosses will lose even more control over its destiny, and all the other stuff will matter little.

There are many things that can improve the outlook but by far the most important is a concerted national program to better educate the public about the greyhound’s life and history and what makes it tick.

WHO IS TO JUDGE?

The legal news is messy. In an extraordinary merry-go-round, Gai Waterhouse was successively found guilty by Sydney stewards of failing to notify them of a favoured horse’s soreness (More Joyous), then exonerated by the Racing Appeals Tribunal, but is now subject to a Racing NSW appeal to the Supreme Court for a reversal of that decision.

It revolves around the question of whether Racing NSW and its stewards are entitled to rely on the Rules of Racing, which require trainers to notify them of any problems in the lead-up to a race. Similar requirements exist in greyhound rules.

The first judge has ruled that Racing NSW processes were not up to the required legal standard in demanding such reporting. Previously, owner John Singleton had agreed with the stewards and withdrew his horses from the Waterhouse stable, making a lot of noise en route.

So, are the thoroughbred rules reasonable, or are they adequately worded? The next judge will presumably throw some more light on that. Lawyers will then be off to bank their winnings.

Either way, the average punter would hardly support trainers getting away with secrecy about a competitor’s lack of fitness. Sadly, in the greyhound field, the availability of such information is the exception rather than the rule.

Let’s hope greyhound authorities watch developments closely and review their own positions.

ON THE OTHER HAND …

What were they on about?

From GRV stewards following the running of race 9 at The Meadows last Saturday: “Stewards issued a warning to Ms. L. Britton, the trainer of the greyhound Star Recall regarding the greyhound’s racing manners approaching the home turn”.

After examining the video three times it is clear that Star Recall and another dog bumped heavily trying to get around the first turn (common at this track), but there was no evidence that its manners posed any problem there or on the home turn, where it was racing in the centre of the track and only one other dog was within coooee of it. Anyway, it had faded and run wide by that time.

On top of that, Star Recall was found to be injured and was put out for seven days.

Gavin Lowe Fined $3,750 For Two Positive Swabs

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards have completed an inquiry into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Kiowa Star – after that greyhound won Race 3 at the Lismore Greyhound Club’s meeting on 5 March 2013 – had been analysed and confirmed to contain the testosterone metabolite 5-beta androstane-3alpha, 17beta-diol at a level in excess of 10 ng/ml in urine as specified in GAR 83 (6) as an exempted level in urine taken from a bitch.

Held in conjunction was an inquiry into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from That’s My Cloud – after that greyhound won Race 4 at the Grafton Greyhound Club’s meeting on 4 April 2013 – had also been confirmed to contain the metabolite in excess of 10 ng/ml.

Evidence was taken from trainer Gavin Lowe and Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley. Written evidence was submitted from ARFL Senior Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann, the ARFL, Chem Centre WA and GRNSW.

The inquiry heard Mr Lowe had adopted a practice of administering .25 mls of the preparation Tepro on Monday of each week and prior to any bitch in his care racing. Tepro is known to contain twice the level of testosterone propionate than that in testoprop, which is the recommended product for oestrus suppression. In respect of the concentration of the metabolite in each sample, the evidence was consistent with the relatively high concentration detected in the sample taken from Kiowa Star and the lesser level detected in the sample from That’s My Cloud. This occurred despite warnings on Tepro and other preparations given to participants in material and seminars during September, October and November 2012.

Mr Lowe subsequently pleaded guilty to two charges under GAR 83 (2) (a) in that he presented Kiowa Star and That’s My Cloud for the races in question other than free of any prohibited substance.

Following submissions on penalty, Mr Lowe was fined $2,000 for the presentation of Kiowa Star. In respect of the presentation of That’s My Cloud, he was fined $1,750.

As has been the case with other inquiries involving 5beta-androstane-3alpha, 17beta-diol, both in NSW and in other greyhound racing jurisdictions, a measure of leniency was extended in both matters as stewards were mindful that this was one of the first reports of the presence at excessive levels of this substance in a greyhound sample in NSW after the introduction of the rule on 1 January 2013.

In assessing penalty consideration was also given to Mr Lowe’s previously unblemished record during more than 20 years of registration, a high number of cleared samples taken during this period, his guilty plea, the levels of the substance reported, his professional status in the industry, his assistance to both the inquiry and on notification of the irregularity, references supplied and the absence of any significant kennel support for either Kiowa Star or That’s My Cloud.

Notwithstanding these factors a measure of negligence had been shown in the administration of tepro and that a measure of both specific and general deterrence should be implied in these circumstances.

The greyhounds were disqualified from their respective events and the placings amended accordingly.

Playing With Figures – Not Kindergarten Stuff

Confusion, guesswork, allegations, bias and “let you know later” are some of the descriptions that might be applied to statements and figures offered at the NSW parliamentary hearings. The main offenders, but not the only ones, are animal welfare groups such as the RSPCA.

Much of the innuendo started last October when the ABC’s 7:30 report opened with a statement which set the scene; “The sport of greyhound racing has for years been tarnished by allegations of systemic doping and corruption”. Really? I read all the papers but have seen only a very occasional item from the same Fairfax journalist, who obviously has strong views about the worth of greyhound racing, and who failed double-check her sources or to obtain a good range of views, as required by her profession’s code of conduct.

The ABC program, also subject to the same protocols, offered no real background for its statement and followed up only with adverse comments from a few people who claimed illegal drug use was widespread. None of those respondents has been able to substantiate those claims subsequently, and they were generally based on hearsay anyway. Reliable sources reveal that a lengthy interview with an interstate greyhound official was cut to a few seconds on screen.

Of course, some abuses do occur, which is why authorities swab winners at every TAB track in the country, and sometimes others as well, and why kennel inspections are routine across the state.

The perspective that was missing from the ABC’s report was the absence of any inquiry into the use of drugs in general, given that they are a routine part of caring for the racing greyhound. Some of these remain in the system for longer than others, which is why authorities nominate “safe” periods which should be utilised prior to racing. Many are not banned as such, but are illegal if given too close to a race meeting.

However, over time, there have been many changes in the list of banned drugs, in the recommended safe periods, and in the quantity deemed to be illegal (ie if found at the time of swabbing).

A classic case occurred last year when the country’s biggest trainer, Graeme Bate from Geelong, was found guilty of using excessive testosterone on his bitches (to stay off-season) and disqualified for several months. In fact, Bate had continued dosages he had been using for 40 years, only to find that the legal limit had been halved. Bate should have known, of course, but it illustrates the somewhat arbitrary nature of rules made by authorities, often after receiving fresh technical advice.

There are other cases, in both horses and dogs, where minute traces of drugs found in the animals might well have been caused by close contact with a human handler who had been doing the wrong thing, or by contaminants a long way down the food chain. In either case, various stewards have ended up accepting some not guilty pleas from trainers. They have recognised that, over decades, the world outside has changed significantly, and that laboratories are now sharper than ever.

Whether some of these drugs have any effect on performance is also a grey area. EPO, for example, will not make the dog go faster than its normal top speed but will help with endurance. This is why cyclists have used it. It’s banned anyway, as it should be, not least because over-use is dangerous.

The question of injuries is more obscure.

The Greyhound Freedom group, which is opposed to any dog racing at all on emotional grounds and which demonstrated outside the hearings last week, carried banners calling for an end to taypayers’ subsidy of greyhound racing. In fact, last financial year TAB betting alone in NSW contributed over $21 million to the state coffers.

It also claims its surveys showed that over two years there were 36,689 racetrack injuries and 970 racetrack deaths on all Australian tracks bar 20 non-TAB tracks in NSW (it did not comment on non-TAB tracks in SA, which has two, and in Queensland, which has one).

In a period of that length Greyhounds Australasia data shows there would have been around 8,100 meetings, 85,000 races and 350,000 competitors (this is an estimate as GA figures have not been updated since 2011). That would suggest that over 10% of starters were injured and a bit over 0.2% of all starters died, if you accepted the claimed injury rate.

But those ratios are well in excess of GRNSW experience which shows that only just over 0.2% were injured and 0.1% died. The rare deaths would almost all have come from badly broken hocks and the like, where a vet assessed there was no possibility of recovery and the dog was in pain. The differences in the figures are probably explained by the fact that Greyhound Freedom had its data collected by volunteers who scraped them from stewards post-meeting reports on the internet. Exactly how they did that job is unknown.

In practice, of course, those reports show that the vast majority of those injuries were minor and required either no intervention or a spell from racing of a few days. Terms like “grazing”, “superficial bruising” and the like are in common use. Others would relate to muscle strains, which might require 7 days or longer.

Clearly, the Greyhound Freedom claims are highly suspect, as is their methodology.

Tomorrow we will expand a bit more on this subject.

Dean Turley Fined $1,500 For Testosterone Postitive Swab

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards have completed inquiries into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Maritime Strike – after that greyhound had won Race 4 at the Lismore Greyhound Club’s meeting on 26 March 2013 – had been analysed and confirmed to contain the testosterone metabolite 5beta-androstane-3alpha,17beta-diol at a level in excess of 10 ng/ml in urine as specified in GAR 83 (6) as an exempted level in urine taken from a bitch.

Evidence was taken from trainer Dean Turley, Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley and Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) Laboratory Director David Batty. Written evidence was submitted from the ARFL Senior Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann, the ARFL, the RASL and GRNSW.

The inquiry heard that Mr Turley – acting on veterinary advice – had authorised administration of 0.5 ml of testoprop around five days prior to the race in question. While this was administered around the recommended guidelines of at least five days prior to racing, it was still slightly inside the six days recommended in the GRNSW advice published in November 2012. No formal record keeping was submitted to the inquiry.

Mr Turley subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) in that he presented Maritime Strike for the race in question other than free of any prohibited substance. Mr Turley was subsequently fined $1,500.

In assessing penalty consideration was given to Mr Turley’s previously unblemished record over nearly 13 years of registration, a high number of cleared samples taken during this period, his guilty plea, the relatively low level of the substance reported, his professional status in the industry, his assistance to both the inquiry and on notification of the irregularity, previous penalties imposed in relation to these reports, references supplied and the absence of any significant kennel support for Maritime Strike.

Notwithstanding these factors a measure of general deterrence should be implied in these circumstances.

Maritime Strike was disqualified from the event and the placings amended accordingly.

John Galea Receives Six Month Suspension For Positive Swab

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 ‘Gaelic Melody’ at the Warragul Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Thursday, 22 August 2013.

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

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Galea with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rules 83(2) and (3) in that he did fail to present the greyhound ‘Sisco Comet’ free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Horsham Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 given that the pre-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Methandriol, 17α-Methyl-5 β-Androstane-3α, 16α, 17β-triol and 17α-Methyl-5α-Androstane-3β-17β-diol.

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, 11 February 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. John Galea represented himself.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) with the assistance of Mr. Dan Verberne (Steward), represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. John Galea pleaded guilty to the charge.

After hearing all the evidence tendered and having regard to GAR83 (6), the RADB determined that Mr. Galea was guilty as charged and disqualified him for 6 months (with 2 months of this penalty suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR83 during the 12 month period), effective from Monday, 17 February 2014.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified ‘Sisco Good’ from Event 12 – Axis Employment Grade 5 – at the Horsham Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 and amended the placings accordingly.

David Ferguson Fined $1,000 For Diclofenac Positive Swab

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 ‘Ruff Edges’ at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Sunday, 13 October 2013.

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

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Ferguson with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rules 83(2) and (3) in that he did fail to present the greyhound ‘Ruff Edges’ free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Sunday, 13 October 2013 given that the post-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Diclofenac.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules this constituted a Serious Offence. As a result, on Tuesday, 11 February 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 Ferguson represented himself.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) with the assistance of Mr. Dan Verberne (Steward), represented the Stewards Panel.

Mr. David Ferguson pleaded guilty to the charge.

After hearing all the evidence tendered and having regard to submissions and further information provided by the parties, the RADB determined that Mr. Ferguson was guilty as charged and fined him the sum of $1,000.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified ‘Ruff Edges’ from Event 7 – www.tab.com.au Grade 5 No Penalty 515m – at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Sunday, 13 October 2013 and amended the placings accordingly.

Julius Perrett Fined $500 Under Rule GAR106 (1) (d)

Stewards today inquired in the circumstances surrounding the greyhound Dashing Prince being euthanised whilst in the care of trainer Julius Perrett.

It was established that Dashing Prince sustained an injury during the running of Race 4 at the Border Park Tweed Heads meeting on 3 November 2012 diagnosed by the Club Veterinarian to be a fractured near side fore toe.

Mr Perrett believed the greyhound to have been misdiagnosed at the time and transported the greyhound back to his Withcott property. After arriving at his property Mr. Perrett stated that he made attempts to contact his veterinary surgeon to examine Dashing Prince.

Mr. Perrett explained that Dashing Prince was in considerable discomfort and after these attempts were unsuccessful, he made the decision to euthanise Dashing Prince on humane grounds.

Stewards charged Julius Perrett with contravention of GAR106 (1) (d) which reads:

A registered person must ensure that greyhounds, which are in the person’s care or custody, are provided at all times with-

(d) veterinary attention when necessary.

The specifics of the charge being that before determining that the greyhound should be euthanised Julius Perrett failed to provide veterinary attention to Dashing Prince to determine that, in fact, euthanasia was appropriate in the circumstances.

Mr Perrett pleaded not guilty to the charge however after considering the evidence, Stewards found him guilty as charged and imposed a fine of $500.

In determining penalty Stewards took into account Mr Perrett’ s previous good record in relation to this type of matter in over 30 years in the greyhound industry and the individual circumstances of this matter.

Racing Queensland Stewards, after consultation with RQ Chief Veterinarian Dr Martin Lenz, have referred this matter to the Veterinary Surgeons Board of Queensland for its consideration.

Chinchilla-Angel Carter-King Suspended Six Months For Positive Swab

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards inquired into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Yellow Stone – after that greyhound had won Race 1 at the Casino Greyhound Club’s meeting on 22 March 2013 – had been analysed and confirmed to contain the testosterone metabolite 5beta-androstane-3alpha, 17beta-diol at a level in excess of 10 ng/ml in urine as specified in GAR 83 (6) as an exempted level in urine taken from a bitch.

Evidence was taken from trainer Chinchilla-Angel Carter-King and Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley. Written evidence was submitted from ARFL Senior Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann, the ARFL, Racing Science Centre Qld and GRNSW.

The inquiry heard Ms Carter-King had adopted a practice of administration of .25 mls of the testosterone containing preparation Tepro on either the Sunday or Monday each week, irrespective of the racing date of any bitch in her care. Tepro is known to contain twice the level of testosterone propionate than that contained in the recommended product for oestrus suppression, testoprop, given at that level fortnightly. This occurred despite warnings on Tepro and other preparations given to participants in written material and seminars during September, October and November 2012.

Ms Carter-King subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) in that she presented Yellow Stone for the race in question other than free of any prohibited substance due to the urine sample taken from the bitch after the race was found on confirmatory analysis to have contained 5beta-androstane-3alpha, 17beta-diol in excess of the threshold level of 10 ng/ml.

Following submissions on penalty and having regard to her financial circumstances, Ms Carter-King was suspended for a period of six months.

In assessing penalty consideration was given to Ms Carter-King’s previously unblemished record over nearly 13 years of registration, her guilty plea, her personal circumstances, the low activity rate of starters in her care and a low number of samples submitted previously, her co-operation during the inquiry and at notification of the irregularity, and the absence of any significant kennel support for Yellow Stone.

Notwithstanding these factors a measure of negligence had been shown in the administration of Tepro, leading to an extremely high level of the metabolite reported, and that a measure of both specific and general deterrence should be implied in these circumstances.

Yellow Stone was disqualified from the event and the placings amended accordingly.

Wayne Wrout Receives Three Month Suspended Sentence And $500 Fine

Offence: Mr. Wayne Wrout did strike a greyhound on multiple occasions to the head with a clenched fist, at the Ballarat Greyhound Racing Club trial session conducted on Tuesday, 21 May 2013, which in the opinion of stewards was improper and constituted misconduct.

Following an incident at the Ballarat Greyhound Racing Club on Tuesday, 21 May 2013, the Stewards of Greyhound Racing Victoria conducted an investigation.

During the investigation, Stewards received evidence from registered trainer Mr. Wayne Wrout, Mr. Adam Bailey (GRV employee) Ms. Angela Rowland (Club employee) and Mr. Daryl Keirl (Club employee).

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Wrout with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rules 86 (o) which provides that a a person shall be guilty of an offence if the person has in relation to a greyhound or greyhound racing, done a thing, or omitted to do a thing, which in the opinion of the Stewards or the Controlling Body, as the case may be, is negligent, dishonest, corrupt, fraudulent or improper, or constitutes misconduct.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules this constituted a Serious Offence. As a result, on Monday, 3 February 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. Wayne Wrout did not attend the hearing.

Mr. Ron Matthews (GRV Steward) with the assistance of Dianne Pyers represented the Stewards Panel.

The RADB entered a not guilty plea of behalf of Mr. Wayne Wrout.

After hearing all the evidence tendered and having regard to GAR86 (o), the RADB determined that Mr. Wrout was guilty as charged and disqualified him for 3 months (wholly suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR86(o) or AR106(1)(2) during this 12 month period), plus a fine of $500, both effective from Monday, 3 February 2014.

GRNSW Stewards Commencing Three New Enquiries

STEWARDS TO COMMENCE REBEL RUMBLE INQUIRY

GRNSW stewards will commence an inquiry into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Rebel Rumble – after that greyhound won at Tamworth on 27 July 2013 – was found to contain the prohibited substance caffeine and its metabolites. The inquiry will take place at the offices of the Maitland Greyhound Club on Tuesday 11 February 2014, commencing at 11am.

STEWARDS TO COMMENCE RODRIGO DIAZ INQUIRY

GRNSW stewards will commence an inquiry into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Rodrigo Diaz – after that greyhound won at Bulli on 25 September 2013 – was found to contain the prohibited substance 6alpha-hydroxystanozolol. The inquiry will take place at the offices of GRNSW on Wednesday 12 February 2014, commencing at 11am.

STEWARDS TO COMMENCE ELECTRO STORM INQUIRY

GRNSW stewards will commence an inquiry into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Electro Storm – after that greyhound won at Wentworth Park on 28 September 2013 – was found to contain the prohibited substance boldenone and its metabolites. The inquiry will take place at the offices of GRNSW on Tuesday 25 February 2014, commencing at 1pm.

It’s An Ill Wind

In the old days the threatened sackings at SPC in Shepparton would have been a disaster, not just for local farmers and the town, but also for patrons of the dog track. Similar impacts have occurred in the past at Warrnambool or Ballarat with Fletcher Jones downturns, at Geelong where half the town is in strife, and when steel mills closed at Newcastle and Port Kembla, affecting half a dozen dog tracks in those areas.

Fortunately, customers now come from far and wide, courtesy of SKY and the TABs, so the impact is minimal.

The national approach has a lot going for it, even though at times there are many clashing races and the kitty is split up into chunks that are too small for serious punting – which are matters racing bosses could bring under control if they wished. .

But it does bring up the question of why racing management is not also a candidate for the national approach. The current pattern of differing conditions and rules in each state cannot possibly optimise the welfare of the industry. Grading, stewards’ policies and penalties, track standards, betting pools, commission arrangements and just sheer political influence are all matters that would benefit from a heftier and more consistent approach. The entire would be much better than the parts.

Indeed, the fact that regular national meetings of both stewards and administrators have failed to achieve more consistency is a blight on the industry. There is not much point in getting together if everyone goes home and does something different – the voluminous local rules applying in each state is evidence of bureaucracy at its worst. So, for that matter, is the lack of industry statistics for 2012 and 2013.

Think for a moment what might happen if cricket, tennis and the football codes all changed rules as they moved from one state to another. Bedlam, surely.

There are other parts of this country which have seen the light – aviation, for example, could not possibly work if state-by-state rules applied. Planes would start running in to each other. Yet dogs in their hundreds fly and drive over state borders every day. Customers could not care less and probably often don’t even know what state the track is in. It makes no sense.

Indeed, a national initiative is possibly the only way that the industry would be able to mount serious public relations and marketing programs, thereby telling the real greyhound story to more and more Australians. Doing that piecemeal is just not a goer. Worse, it means episodes like the current parliamentary inquiry in NSW will lead – and has led – to literally hundreds of people throwing rocks at the sport, regardless of their accuracy or balance.

 

YOU WERE WARNED

More topical is the fact that Shepparton was able to stage its Monday meeting at all. Maximum temperatures then, and on several previous days, had exceeded 40 degrees, cooling down only at night.

That may have contributed to an extraordinary event. Its 650m race was reduced to three starters, including the highly talented Phenomenal. Despite warnings from this column about odds-on pops, punters sent it out at $1.10, not much more than bank interest. Yet Sisco Rage jumped in front and led all the way in a sparkling 37.28, only a length outside Nellie Noodles track record, after an equally quick sectional of 17.12. Although it got close on the line, Phenomenal never really looked the winner.

Sisco Rage has displayed ability previously, winning at The Meadows in 30.24, Ballarat in 31.11 and Geelong in 25.82.  Still, its time at Shepparton easily bettered any of its career runs. Actually, it is amazing how often some in this kennel are able to jump well and lead the field a merry dance, as was the case here.

 

BEWITCHED AND BEFUDDLED

GRNSW has just told us that takings boomed in the first half of the financial year, yet only a short while ago it told the parliamentary greyhound inquiry that the code faced the prospect of scrubbing some clubs due to a dismal financial outlook. So which is it?   .

The current “vibrant betting market”, according to CEO, Brent Hogan, is reflected in a national rise of over 5% at TABs and much more for online bookmakers and Betfair. Turnover in NSW was up 11.2% on the same period in 2012 which included some weeks of the trainers strike.

Tabcorp has already recorded a fall in traditional tote business but a rise in Fixed Odds Betting, albeit from a low base. Somewhat similarly, TattsBet figures are up but mainly because it took over the Tasmanian business from the state government. Its prospects in Queensland and Tasmania are not looking bright as customers are indicating a preference for betting outlets which offer more reliable dividend potential.

NSW racing codes are currently calling on the government to remove the 1.5% cap on racefield fees, thereby allowing market forces to set the rates. This is a good move. Governments are best left out of commercial matters.

However, note that GRNSW still charges fees on the basis of a percentage of bookmaker’s surpluses, rather than on a commission on turnover basis. Since the latter system has proved far more lucrative for all the major players, including Racing NSW, it indicates that something odd is occurring at the dogs.  Clearly, either the bookies are making excessive profits or NSW punters are very bad at what they do. Can that continue in the long term?

John Mooney Fined $1,500 For Strychnine Positive

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards have finalised an inquiry into analysts’ reports of the finding of strychnine in the urine sample taken from Midas Rhythm after that greyhound won Race 2, the Sky Racing Maiden at The Gardens meeting on Friday 9 August 2013.

Evidence was taken from trainer John Mooney and Science Manager of the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Dr Adam Cawley. Written evidence was also tendered from the ARFL, Racing Analytical Services Victoria and Racing NSW Head Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann.

Mr Mooney gave evidence that he had not administered any strychnine to the greyhound despite having present an unopened bottle of the unregistered product ‘Dr Bells’ (which is known to contain strychnine) at the time of the notification of the irregularity and his kennels being inspected. Mr Mooney’s evidence of not administering ‘Dr Bells’ to Midas Rhythm was supported by evidence from Dr Cawley who said there was a low level of strychnine being present in the sample taken from Midas Rhythm.

Mr Mooney said the source of the strychnine in the sample may have come from ‘Talon Rat Bait’ that he had frequently used around his kennels to kill vermin. However a sample of this product was collected during the course of the inspection and tested by the ARFL and found not to contain strychnine.

Mr Mooney subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) of having been responsible for the presentation of Midas Rhythm for the race in question other than free of any prohibited substance in that the urine sample taken from Midas Rhythm after the race was found to contain strychnine.

Mr Mooney was subsequently fined $1,500.

In considering the penalty, stewards took into account GRNSW’s Penalty Guidelines which has a starting point for Category 2 substances as 156 weeks. However, the penalty given to Mr Mooney was heavily mitigated by his good record of having never come before stewards for any offence in more than 50 years of registration as a trainer, his guilty plea, his personal circumstances, the low level of the prohibited substance and the high number of samples taken from greyhounds trained by Mr Mooney. Notwithstanding the above considerations, stewards are mindful of the potential for damage to the industry reputation caused by such reports.

Under GAR 83 (4), Midas Rhythm was disqualified from the race in question.

Mr Mooney was advised of his right of appeal.

Mick Campbell Fined $500 Under Rule GAR 82(b)

Stewards today inquired into the finding by the Integrity Regulatory Unit Officers of a metal trap and unprescribed medications at the Coominya property of licensed greyhound trainer Mick Campbell.

After taking evidence from Mr Campbell and Mr Ron Jackson who owns the Coominya property the ownership and purpose of the trap at the property could not be conclusively established and therefore Stewards took no further action in relation to that matter.

However Stewards charged Mick Campbell with the contravention of GAR 82(b) which reads:

An owner, trainer or handler who has in their possession at any place used in relation to the training or racing of a greyhound, any quantity of a prohibited substance commits an offence unless, a prescription for the prohibited substance which was issued by a veterinary surgeon who prescribed the prohibited substance for a particular greyhound after personally examining that greyhound is produced to the Stewards.

The specifics of the charge being that during an inspection of the Coominya property by IRU Officers on 2nd August 2013 unprescribed medications were found in the storage area of Mr Campbell’s kennels.

Mr Campbell was found guilty of the charge and was fined the sum of $500. Stewards allowed Mr Campbell two months to pay.

Mr Campbell was advised of his appeal rights.

The Thin Edge Of The Wedge?

The Victorian Parliament has just enacted a law which allows the Racing Integrity Commission and racing stewards to haul in to their inquiries any, “people of interest.” No longer does this apply only to licensed persons.

Failure to attend would render them liable to fines and even jail terms

Commissioner Sal Perna told the Herald Sun he will not, “go out all guns blazing and ask questions of all sorts of people. You must use your judgement.”

Likewise, stewards, “must show reasons they have good grounds for asking a person to attend an inquiry.”

The change follows a number of hassles in Victoria, notably the Damien Oliver case, where the jockey declined to attend the Commission’s inquiry and where his ultimate penalty (by the stewards) was heavily criticised for being too late and too lenient. Oliver got 10 months for betting on another horse in a race he was riding in, something which must surely be the ultimate racing sin.

NSW gallops stewards must also be looking on enviously after they were frustrated by the refusal of big punter, Eddie Hayson, to attend hearings on the Waterhouse-Singleton case involving the fitness of More Joyous. Hayson has greyhound form after being responsible, amongst other incidents, for the Lucy’s Light scam at the Gold Coast greyhounds. However, there was no evidence of any illegality there. He simply beat the bookies by manipulating market prices with legal bets, after which their betting rules were adjusted big-time.

However, the change to the law in Victoria brings into question just how the Commission or the stewards will exercise their new powers. How do you define “good grounds”, for example? Will the practice spread to other states? And how big does a punter have to be to attract attention?  A few hundred dollars will distort most greyhound pools these days.

I have no trouble with stewards implementing a “warning off” providing it is for good reason, and is subject to appeal (although whether it is policed properly is open to question). Anyway, for betting purposes, a warning-off means not a great deal in this electronic age. Racing NSW effectively “warned off” all the NT bookmakers at one stage, but it didn’t get far with that, did it? The Northern Territory Racing Commission found serious problems with First Four betting at Ipswich in the Brunker v Bet365 case, but, in the end, Queensland stewards failed to act in any way – no suspensions, no warning off.

However, giving stewards the same power as a court of law is another matter altogether. They have no particular legal training, only past experience in similar matters. Further, most appeals from stewards’ decisions can be made only to their employers – racing boards or committees set up for that purpose – which is a bit too circular in some minds. Only in a limited number of cases can offenders utilise independent tribunals staffed by qualified people. And it is an expensive process.

More to the point, there is reason to claim that greyhound stewards are often not up to the task in general. We have instanced on these pages many cases of irregular penalties for the same offense, stewards’ decisions being overturned for inconsistency, poor assessment of form, and a lack of attention to dogs racing with injuries. In some of these cases, they compare poorly with stewards in other codes. That hardly inspires confidence in their ability to deal with even more complex matters.

But we do need them. For the last 150 years, crooks have never been far away from the racing scene, and will continue to be for the next 150. I would even like to see stewards armed with greater skills and more sophisticated systems, and to pay them more, providing only that they improve their performance.  After all, in essence they are the industry’s managers-on-the-spot, so we need them to do more than just take swabs and thump fighters. However, like the dogs they supervise, they need to pass a stricter test before they qualify.

So, could stewards do more?

Here’s an example (there would be many like it). The four semi-finals of the NSW Futurity and Derby at Newcastle last Friday featured substantial disruptions around the first turn*. Only one of four favourites won and many dogs were thrown off the track. Stewards saw fit to mention 23 of the 31 runners in their report as having suffered some sort of interference in that area alone.

There was nothing unusual about that as it happens routinely at The Gardens. Allegedly, the track was designed by “experts”, according to advice from NCA management at the time, yet none of those involved had any significant greyhound experience. That showed in the original bend-siting of the 411m boxes, which later had to be shifted at great expense to the current 400m position. Unfortunately, the 600m bend start; the poor 515m first turn and a flattish home turn remain unchanged. These are basic design issues.

Given that stewards have independently noted the poor outcomes, why would they not also look at cause and effect and make recommendations about needed improvements to the layout?  After all, they are watching all this three times a week and are responsible for the integrity of greyhound racing. In fact, the word integrity is usually worked into the titles of steward managers these days.

One definition of integrity comes from Macquarie dictionary: “sound, unimpaired or perfect condition”.  That hardly seems to apply here, does it?

Nor does it apply to Wentworth Park, Gosford, Richmond, Dapto or Maitland where GRNSW has, at huge expense, approved tracks works over the last decade, all of which have proved disruptive to one extent or another. Or at other tracks such as Casino, Lismore, Bulli and Nowra, where similar problems occur but no attempt has been made to rectify them. Nor have stewards commented, so far as we know.

That leaves us with the question of whether we can place enough trust in the integrity of racing stewards to support any future action they might take. This is especially critical as stewards are not independent of state authorities, although there is a strong case that they should be.

* (Note: In general terms, the above hassles at The Gardens are readily viewed on race videos, but it will be impossible to make out exactly which dog suffered what because the sunlight and inadequate camera work prevent viewers from identifying the individual dogs. They are all black blurs).

Louise McGee Fined $1750 For Positive Swab

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards have finalised an inquiry into analysts’ reports that the urine sample taken from Shaylee after that greyhound won Race 1 at The Gardens meeting on 4 May 2013, had been analysed and confirmed to contain the testosterone metabolite 5 – beta androstane-3 alpha-17beta Diol at a level in excess of 10 ng/ml in urine as specified in GAR 83 (6) as an exempted level in urine taken from a bitch.

Evidence was taken from trainer Louise McGee, veterinary surgeon Dr Fergus Hay and Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley. Written evidence was submitted from Ms McGee, ARFL Senior Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann, the ARFL, GRNSW and Racing Science Centre QLD.

The inquiry heard that Ms McGee, who keeps veterinary records for all greyhounds in her care and did so at all relevant times, had arranged for Dr Hay to administer 0.25 ml of testoprop as an oestrus suppressant approximately four-and-a-half days prior to Shaylee competing in The Gardens race. This was slightly inside the recommended guidelines of at least five days administration prior to racing and the six days recommended by GRNSW in November 2012.

Ms McGee subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) in that she presented Shaylee for the race in question other than free of any prohibited substance in that the urine sample taken from the bitch after the race was found on confirmatory analysis to have contained 5beta-androstane, 3alpha-17 beta Diol in excess of the threshold level of 10 ng/ml.

Although Ms McGee’s reports were received well into the year and outside of the period of leniency extended by GRNSW and other greyhound jurisdictions in respect of matters involving this Category 3 prohibited substance, she was fined $1,750.

In assessing penalty, consideration was given to Ms McGee’s previously unblemished record of nearly 20 years of registration, a high number of cleared samples taken during this period, her guilty plea, the relatively low level of the substance reported which was consistent with the records kept by Ms McGee, personal references supplied and the absence of any significant kennel support for Shaylee.

Also considered were her personal circumstances in caring for her partner and many retired greyhounds, as well as racing and breeding stock.

Notwithstanding these factors a measure of negligence had been shown in the administration of testoprop slightly inside the recommended time and that a measure of general deterrence should be implied in these circumstances.

Shaylee was disqualified from the event and the final of the series run on 10 May 2013 under GAR 83 (5) and the placings amended accordingly.

Greyhound Betting Tips Thursday 30th January

We managed three winners from four selections on Monday night.
Tonight looks another great betting night, so let’s hope we can emulate Mondays performance.

Albion Park Greyhounds Race 10 Box 1 Glorified Gee, 9.54pm

We’ve gotta wait till the last race here at Albion tonight, but it should be worth the wait. Glorified Gee has been racing consistently at Ipswich recently and he comes up against a field he can beat, and a box he can win from. They’re a pretty ordinary bunch of dogs and it will be hard to sort out the placegetters.
Glorified Gee appears to be quite strong and he should be able to punch up and lead as the enter the first turn. Without much in the race that can run time, once in front he should be able to roll along and win. He is however first up over the trip so don’t go taking short odds.
About $3.00 will be about the right price for the son of Fear Zafonic.

Angle Park Greyhounds Race 5 Box 4 Kaylarikki, 8.38pm

This fellow has a huge motor and always storms to the line in his races. He’s had a few goes over 600 and races very well at the trip. He’s going to get back in the bunch again tonight, but he’s drawn close enough to the rails to find a spot early. Once he gets into clear room he should be able to run down Victa Scott, the early leader.
Most of these are slow beginners and that will go against Kaylarikki, but he’s in good enough form to win this. Punters looking to find some value might find it in taking the boxed exacta with early leader Victa Scott and strong finisher Kaylarikki,
At a cost of $2.00 for 100%

Dapto Greyhounds Race 5 Box 1 Rexroth, 8.55pm

This fellow is not well boxed and that is a cause for concern. He likes to get off the track when the lids fly open. But if he pings he might find the outside runners hold him in on the rail and if they do he should be mighty hard to beat. He’s not racing well and only stopped the clock in a moderate 29.88 at The Gardens in a stewards trial. But he has a PB of 29.85 here and he does seem to race well at Dapto.
Genetic Jenny is the main danger and she should be in this for a long way.
As long as Rexroth starts at $3.00- $4.00 he looks a real chance, despite the box.

Hobart Greyhounds Race 2 Box 6 Kalaway Crusty, 7.58pm

This fellow only went down by a small margin last start and should get the job done here tonight with natural improvement. He’s boxed well on the outside, but does only come away from the boxes fairly, so he does need to steer clear of trouble until he can wind up and hit top gear. Most of these do look to be pretty ordinary, and he does appear to have some race winning ability.
As long as he starts at $4.00 he’s worth having a go at for the win and in the multiples.
Blockbuster could be the danger if he comes away quickly and finds the top.

Sandown Greyhounds Race 8 Box 1 Gold Town, 9.35pm

Greyhound followers will no doubt be aware of the talent Gold Town has, but he has been disappointing of late when he threatened to win a few. He’s drawn the rails and that’s a perfect draw for him tonight in this. His winning chances hinge on Innocent Till and his ability to ping and hold out the outside division. If he can, and Gold Town can also jump and get up along the rails, Gold Town will finish very strongly.
The race is littered with talent and we can’t forget Banjo Boy, who has drawn box 8 here in this. If he pings and gets across well that makes Gold Towns task all that much harder.
Very tough race with multiple winning chances, so make sure odds of $5.00 or more are achieved about Gold Town.

Best of luck

$$ Another Day Another Dollar $$

Mark Reekie Suspended And Fined For Androstane Positive Swab

Racing Queensland (RQ) Stewards today conducted an inquiry into the analysts findings in respect of a urine sample taken from the greyhound KIEWA GEM which won Race 2 at Capalaba on 12 October 2013.

After taking evidence from the trainer of KIEWA GEM, Mr. Mark Reekie, stewards issued a charge against Mr. Reekie pursuant to Greyhounds Australasia rule GAR 83 (2) (a) to which he pleaded guilty.

GAR 82 (2) (a) reads: The owner, trainer or person in charge of a greyhound nominated to compete in an event shall present the greyhound free of any prohibited substance.

The specific of the charge were that on Saturday 12 October 2013 Mr. Mark Reekie, as the trainer of the greyhound KIEWA GEM did present that greyhound to compete in race 2 at Capalaba, when a urine sample taken from the greyhound following the event was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance 5B-androstane-3a, 17B-diol.

After considering all evidence stewards found Mr. Reekie guilty as charged.

In assessing penalty, stewards took into account the following points:

· Mr. Reekie’s good record and contribution to the industry spanning over 30 years

· That the prohibited substance 5B-androstane-3a, 17B-diol (BaB diol) is a metabolite of testosterone

· Previous penalties in respect to similar substances

Subsequently Mr. Reekie was fined the sum of $1500 and his licence was suspended for a period of 3 months.

Under the provisions of Greyhound Australasia Rule 83 (5) (a) KIEWA GEM was disqualified form its 1st placing in Race 2 at Capalaba on Saturday 12 October 2013 and ammended the placings accordingly.

Under the provisions of Greyhounds Australasia Rule 83 (5) (b) KIEWA GEM was disqualified from its 1st placing in Race 3 at Capalaba on Saturday 19 October 2013 and ammended the placings accordingly.

Mr. Reekie was directed to return all prizemoney received from the aforementioned events to Racing Queensland.

Mr. Reekie was advised of this appeal right.

Eleanor Ferguson Suspended For Two Positive Swabs

Offence (1)

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 ‘Gaelic Melody’ at the Warragul Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Thursday, 22 August 2013.

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

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Ms. Ferguson with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rules 83(2) and (3) in that she did fail to present the greyhound ‘Gaelic Melody’ free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Warragul Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Thursday, 22 August 2013 given that the post-race urine sample taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Caffeine and its metabolites
Theobromine, Paraxanthine and Theophylline.

Offence (2)

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 ‘Gaelic Melody’ at the Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club held on Tuesday, 1 October 2013.

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

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Ms. Ferguson with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rules 83(2) and (3) in that she did fail to present the greyhound ‘Gaelic Melody’ free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club on Tuesday, 1 October 2013 given that the post-race urine samples taken from the greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance Caffeine and its metabolites Theobromine, Paraxanthine and Theophylline.

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, 21 January 2014 these matters were 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.

Ms. Eleanor Ferguson did not attend the Hearings. She was represented by Mr. William Ferguson in relation to both charges.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) with the assistance of Catherine Scarlett represented the Stewards Panel.

Through Mr. William Ferguson, Ms. Eleanor Ferguson pleaded guilty to the charge.

After hearing all the evidence tendered and having regard to GAR83 (6), the RADB determined that: (a) in relation to offence (1), Ms. Ferguson was guilty as charged and disqualified her for 3 months and (b) in relation to offence (2) Ms. Ferguson was found guilty as charged and disqualified for 6 months with both penalties to be served concurrently effective from Tuesday, 28 January 2014.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified ‘Gaelic Melody’ from Event 1 – Action Packed Images – at the Warragul Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Thursday, 22 August 2013 and amended the placings accordingly.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified ‘Gaelic Melody’ from Event 3 – Ace Contractors – at the Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Tuesday, 1 October 2013 and amended the placings accordingly.

Kade Joske Suspended And Fined For Salbutamol Positive

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 ‘Daintree Puzzle’ at the Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Saturday,
28 September 2013.

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

After considering the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Joske with a breach of Greyhounds
Australasia Rules 83(2) and (3) in that he did fail to present the greyhound ‘Daintree Puzzle’
free of any prohibited substance for an event at the Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club meeting
held on Saturday, 28 September 2013 given that the pre-race urine sample taken from the
greyhound indicated the presence of the prohibited substance salbutamol.

Under Rule 47.1 of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Local Rules this constituted a Serious
Offence. As a result, on Tuesday, 21 January 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. Kade Joske represented himself.

Mr. Glenn Fish (GRV Chief Steward) with the assistance of Catherine Williams represented the
Stewards Panel.

Mr. Kade Joske pleaded guilty to the charge.

After hearing all the evidence tendered and having regard to GAR83 (6), the RADB determined
that Mr. Joske was guilty as charged and disqualified him for 6 months (with 4 months of this disqualification suspended for 12 months pending no further breaches of GAR83 during this 12 month period), plus a fine of $500, effective from Thursday, 30 January 2014.

Acting under GAR83(4), the RADB also disqualified ‘Daintree Puzzle’ from Event 4 – GRV VBIS Maiden Series Heat 4 513m – at the Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club meeting held on Saturday, 28 September 2013 and amended the placings accordingly.

Group One National Derby and Futurity Set To Light Up The Gardens

Group One action will hit The Gardens this Friday afternoon, with four heats of the Group One National Derby and Group One National Futurity to be conducted.

Greyhounds will arrive at the Birmingham Gardens circuit from all over Australia, in a bid to secure the sensational $75,000 first prize money on offer for each final winner.

Heat one of the National Futurity will kick off proceedings, with a few newcomers to the track, including last start winners; Bella Senora (2), who won the Australian Racing Greyhound Summer Cup last Thursday at Maitland over the 450m in a very quick 25.26, and Zipping Electra (7), for champion breeder Martin Hallinan, a winner over the 280m at Wentworth Park in 16.21. Cawbourne Cobra (3) has the fastest personal best at the track; recording 30.00 back in July of last year and can win this after some consistent performances at Wentworth Park.

Heat one of the National Derby sees another Hallinan runner in Zipping Snoopy (1) ideally drawn on the rails, having recorded two victories at Horsham (23.35, 410m) and Shepparton (25.85, 450m) in his preparation. Topper Harley (3) for Anthony Azzopardi comes into this race with solid Wentworth Park form and has genuine pace to lead this field. Black Road (7) put in an impressive performance during a stewards trial last week at Richmond for in-form trainer Mark Gatt, clocking a fast 30.64 and will be highly competitive in this affair.

Smashing Sally (2) will step out in heat two of the Futurity for trainer Neil Falk after two slick performances at Richmond over the past two weeks, clocking a personal best of 30.45. Dean Swain has another strong chance in this heat with Rue De Khan (4) having excellent form at the track with a personal best of 29.80. Recording three wins from four starts; this bitch is very strong in the latter stages and look for her at the finish. Cawbourne Rev (7) has been consistent of late, with a 29.66 personal best at Unibet Gardens and has enough early pace to get across from the wide draw.

Group One Brisbane Cup hero Kiss Me Ketut (7) will be looking to take out heat two of the National Derby for owner-trainer David Burnett, after some mixed form of late at Wentworth Park during the Paws of Thunder series. The winner of seventeen races can bounce back and has recorded blistering times all over the country. Evil Punk (2) ran a super race finishing second behind Gradence in the Paws of Thunder consolation last week at Wentworth Park and has good early pace to lead this field. Ritza Raider (6) is yet to be unplaced after ten starts and should run a cheeky race from an awkward draw, whilst Waymore’s Blues (1) has an excellent career record of five wins from nine starts and can’t be ignored from the favourable inside alley.

A newcomer to the Mark Gatt kennel, She’s Scandalous (1) gets a great chance to display her talent in heat three of the Futurity from the red rug at her first attempt around the two turn circuit. Unbelief (5) has flown around The Gardens at her past two attempts, recording 29.79 and 29.77, making her a genuine contender to take out this heat. In-form trainer Adam Wade has another talented chaser engaged in Peta Pitstop (6), impressive at Maitland last week over the 450m, clocking 25.30.

Superstar in the making Red Road (8) will exit from the wide alley in heat three of the National Derby for trainer Mark Gatt, and will only have to step cleanly to clock a blistering time. A winner six races from just eight starts, including a sizzling 30.22 at Richmond. Punters are already labelling him a series favourite. Zipping Brock (4) comes into this heat with some solid performances around the Victorian tracks for trainer Peter Dapiran, including a 29.73 personal best at Sandown. My Boy Snoop, for well-respected Hunter Valley trainer Brett May, has an ideal draw on the rails, with a sensational 29.56 time at the track. Recording a brilliant win two weeks ago at Wentworth Park in 29.92, expect a bold showing from this son of Where’s Pedro and National Futurity winner Daydream.

An amazing line up of bitches will compete in the final heat of the Futurity, with two-time Group winner Ritza Hattie (2) returning to the track she made her debut. She clocked a blistering 29.41 over the 515m journey back in July of last year. The unanimous series favourite; bred, owned and trained by Mark Gatt, has good early pace and will take some running down from a superb draw. Cawbourne Whip (3) enthralled enthusiasts during the St Ledger series at this track, recording a flying 29.46, and will provide a great battle with Ritza Hattie if she begins well. Larni Banarni (1) and Premier Mozz (5) have both won their past two starts in respectable times and can figure for the minors.

The final heat of the Derby will be an exciting race. Boyce Road (6) returns from a fourth placing in the Group One Paws of Thunder final in an easier field and will be highly competitive if he gets room early. He sizzled around Wentworth Park in his heat of the Paws, clocking 29.69, expect him to be storming home at the finish. Kelly Bravo and Take Charge (3) will make the trip up from Victoria. He has three consecutive wins under his belt and is a threat to take this out and book a semi-final spot. Tricky Pluto (7) has got plenty of ability and can figure in the finish. He ran second here last week and saluted at Wentworth Park the week prior in 29.99.

Heat one will kick off at 3.48pm EDST time on Friday afternoon, with the first four place getters moving through to next week’s semi-finals.

Cecil Kennedy Convicted For Breaches Of The NSW Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals Act

Trainer Cecil Kennedy has been immediately suspended by Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) after he was convicted yesterday in Singleton Local Court for breaches of the NSW Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

The conviction followed an extensive investigation by the RSPCA NSW and GRNSW.

In addition to the conviction, Kennedy will be required to attend a GRNSW stewards inquiry on 18 February 2014.

 

More to follow.

Australian Racing Greyhound Facebook Followers Show Industry Outrage At Mackay Ruling

According to the commentary from the Australian Racing Greyhound Facebook page, the opinion regarding the decision handed down by Greyhound Racing New South Wales (GRNSW) in the Jason Mackay case is almost unanimous.

When you compare the penalties given to trainers in other cases around Australia, the penalties defy logic and you can understand the frustrations being expressed by industry participants. However, when you look closely at past cases in NSW, there is a clear history of “soft” penalties being handed down in comparison to the other states.

According to GRNSW’s Penalty Guidleines, the penalty “starting point” for a category three offence is 52 weeks per offence. You can then receive discounts for mitigating factors, such as low level readings on the swab, or for an early guilty plea, or add more time for prior offences.

This leads to another conversation for another day. What is a low level reading? What were the readings in these cases? It would make things a lot more transparent Australia wide, if the levels were actually detailed in the media statements. In general, stewards inquiry reports offer up very little in the way of specific facts, making it impossible to clearly understand the majority of decisions. There is no question that participants Australia wide are crying out for transparency, consistency and integrity; and for that, they are repeatedly offered up “a pineapple”.

The starting penalty for Mackay’s three positive swabs is three times 52 weeks for a Category 3 drug. All steroids are considered Category 3 drugs under the GRNSW Drug Classifications. There was a fourth charge but it was dropped when the “B” sample did not show an elevated Testosterone level. So Mackay was facing minimum starting point of 156 weeks worth of disqualification or suspension, but has miraculously escaped with just a $2,000 fine per offence!

GRNSW has the ability to give a discount on positive swab penalties for personal circumstances, which in effect makes the existence of their “GRNSW Penalty Table” a complete waste of time, as they can do whatever they want on a case by case basis. This is where Jason Mackay can count himself very lucky. According to the most recent decision, Jason qualifies for a discount on any potential penalty because he is well invested in the industry.

It’s quite ironic that the reason many would assume the penalty discounts would be in place would be to show compassion to those facing hardship. However in practice, the opposite is true. According to the Stewards, Jason received a discount on any potential penalty because of “his personal circumstances of full time training and a significant industry investment”. Bad luck for any hobby trainer with just one greyhound in work – you’ll have the book thrown at you!

The whole scenario does nothing but prove the assertions made by the much-maligned Vet Dr. Ted Humphries that, “Smaller trainers get harsher penalties”. For stating the bleeding obvious, Dr Humphries was called to inquiry and subsequently “warned off” by GRNSW Stewards.

With Humphries due to have an appeal heard shortly, and the ongoing NSW Government Greyhound Inquiry due to have its second public hearing in Newcastle on 5th February, this most recent decision and the anger it has fuelled in the wider greyhound community will no doubt have some influence over both those events.

Back to the Mackay decision, and an interesting point is that Mackay appears to have been given a lighter sentence due to a guilty plea. There is provisions in GRNSW’s own penalty guidelines for a discount to a sentence if the subject of the inquiry takes an early guilty plea. The effective word here is early. While Mackay did ultimately plead guilty, there can be no confusion that the plea was anything but early. The original swabs date back to February 2013, and there was at least one adjournment at Mackay’s request. This case, and many others like it, have been decided in anything but a timely fashion.

The Reaction – Public Opinion

The reaction from greyhound racing fans was swift and pointed. Here is just a small sample of the comments left on our own Facebook page:

Damien Bates – “His standing in the industry” !!!!! What the hell does that have to do with the penalty ? What a joke

Mick Whyte – Joke !!! 4 dogs is a blatant disregard of the rules, should of had the book thrown at him.

Rod Lee – We always knew that there would be leniency but look at it from a positive angle ! Now they have set precedent for all in the future .i also wish you Jason Mackay all the best in 2014 buy a lottery ticket mate you’re lucks in !

Craig Jones – It totally depends on the trainers in Grnsw eyes, if it was a lesser known trainer he would have copped a suspension….how do u plead guilty to knowingly doing the wrong thing and get off with a fine?? this is the standard they have set now so I hope more people are giving the leniency they have given in this case….no wonder the sport is going backwards in a hurry!!

Les Keefe – well said craig… horrible precedent they have set….

Paul Betar – Gra nsw are a joke and just proves they are corrupt

Greg Stenner – every trainer that gets caught now will plead not guilty and this case will be brought up they grnsw didn’t show that they are fair dinkim in what they do! Nothing against Jason good for him but really not a good decision.

Samantha Riley – Are you kidding? Well GRNSW that is it for me. I am selling my 2 dogs and going back to the horses. I was warned that the dog industry has gone downhill in NSW…now I have the facts. Dogs will be sold by tonight.

Darris Fahey – What a load of shit..!!!!!

David Hermon – total crap i might as well drug up my bitchs and plead that i didnt know the rules oh lets amend the placings gee thats great do i get a refund on my bets 12 months later …. nlo wonder why i dont bet on greyhounds unless i own/train them

Justin Bush – thats bullshit 4 positives and only a fine money speaks all in this sport……you want more people in this industry and how can you compete with the high class trainers that are knowingly doping there dogs to win this is just just not australian i honestly think it should be brought to the minister for sport and have him do something

After seeing these reactions we decided to have a look back at some of the other penalties handed down to trainers in previous Testosterone cases.

NSW Elevated Testosterone Penalties

  • John Free (NSW) – Fined the sum of $2000.
  • Ronald Hoogenboom (NSW) – Fined the sum of $1750.
  • Tim Murray (NSW) – Licence suspended for a period of four months.
  • Bruce Caden (NSW) – Fined the sum of $1750.

WA Elevated Testosterone Penalties

  • Wayne Jacobsen (WA) – Licence suspended for a period of nine months.

Qld Elevated Testosterone Penalties

  • James Madigan (QLD) – Fined the sum of $1500 and his licence was suspended for a period of three (3) months.
  • Brian Lambert (QLD) – Licence was suspended for a period of six (6) months.
  • Ricky Camp (QLD) – Disqualified for a period of six (6) months and was fined the sum of $1000.
  • John Finn (QLD) – Fined the sum of $2000.
  • Pamela Field (QLD) – Fined the sum of $2000.
  • Robert Giltinan (QLD) – Fined the sum of $2000.

In the cases of Finn, Field and Giltinan, all had no priors in recent times and all had positive swabs in one greyhound, as opposed to three (four) in the Mackay case.

Vic Elevated Testosterone Penalties

  • Justin Dunn (VIC) – Licence suspended for six months.
  • Graeme Bate (VIC) – Licence suspended for 12 months.
  • Peter Mullen (VIC) – Licence suspended for seven months.
  • Douglas Blake (VIC) – Licence suspended for seven months.
  • Murray Collyer (VIC) – Licence suspended for nine months.
  • Steven Collyer (VIC) – Licence suspended for six months.

When you look at the stand being taken in Victoria, it is plainly obvious that the GRNSW has taken a far lighter stance against Testosterone cases.

As one industry participant stated to Australian Racing Greyhound, “GRNSW are the toothless tiger”.

Well put.

Mackay Surprisingly Avoids Suspension And Only Fined For Four Positive Swabs

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards today concluded inquiries into analysts’ reports that the urine samples taken from Sometimes Speedy and Punch One Out after those greyhounds ran first and second respectively in the final of the Dogpro National Futurity at Unibet Gardens on 15 February 2013, the sample taken from Yarramundi Flash after that greyhound won Race 5 at Unibet Gardens on 22 February 2013, and also the sample taken from Zipping Tess after that greyhound won Race 2, the Ultra Sense Heat 2 at Wentworth Park on 23 March 2013, had each been analysed and found to contain the prohibited substance 5beta-androstane-3alpha, 17beta-diol, a metabolite of testosterone, at a concentration of greater than 10 ng/ml in a bitch.

Evidence was taken over the course of hearings on 18 November 2013 and today from trainer Jason Mackay, who was granted representation from Lenz Legal at the initial hearing and was today assisted by veterinary surgeon Dr Peter Yore. Further evidence was taken today from Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager Dr Adam Cawley, Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) Laboratory Director Paul Zahra and from Racing Science Centre Qld (RSC) Acting Manager Analytical Services Samantha Nelis. Written evidence was tendered from the ARFL, RASL, RSC, GRNSW, Mr Mackay and Dr Yore.

Mr Mackay pleaded guilty to three charges under GAR 83 (2) (a) in that he presented Punch One Out, Sometimes Speedy and Zipping Tess for the races in question other than free of prohibited substances in that the urine samples taken from the greyhounds after their events were found on confirmatory analysis to contain the prohibited substance 5beta-androstane-3alpha, 17beta-diol, a metabolite of testosterone, at a concentration of greater than 10 ng/ml in a bitch.

As the referee sample taken from Yarramundi Flash that was delivered to RSC was not confirmed at a level greater than10 ng/ml, no finding was made in respect of that presentation.

On each charge Mr Mackay was subsequently fined $2,000.

In determining penalty, stewards took into account Mr Mackay’s guilty plea on each offence, his record of only minor breaches incurred over more than 20 years of training, his record of having more than 400 cleared samples over approximately the past 12 years, his personal circumstances of full time training and a significant industry investment, his standing within the industry and freely given assistance in training matters, his co-operation with the inquiry and during the kennel inspection, as well as previous record keeping.

As has been the case with other inquiries involving 5beta-androstane-3alpha, 17beta-diol, both in NSW and in other greyhound racing jurisdictions a measure of leniency was extended as stewards were mindful that this was one of the first reports of the presence at excessive levels of this substance in a greyhound sample in NSW after the introduction of the rule on 1 January 2013.

The fact that initial advice of irregularities could not be conveyed to Mr Mackay until after the last of the races in question led to the imposition of similar penalties in each case.

The particular factors in this case should not be seen as a precedent in similar cases of presentation of a greyhound found to have a Category Three level substance detected in a sample in the future.

A measure of both specific and general deterrence was also considered, particularly in regard to use of a product known to have extended excretion times. The importance of the races involved and the effects such reports have on the industry reputation were also considered. Mr Mackay admitted negligence in his knowledge of the introduction of the rule despite widespread alerts by GRNSW prior to and after the rule was introduced on 1 January 2013.

Sometimes Speedy and Punch One Out were disqualified from the National Futurity final under the provisions of GAR 83 (4) and the placings amended to:

1st – Winsome Charlee
2nd – Lil Miss Sparkle
3rd – Lil Miss Mohawk

Zipping Tess was disqualified from the heat of the Ultra Sense under the provisions of GAR 83 (5) and placings amended to:

1st – My Signature
2nd – Paua Of Darkness
3rd – Grovebrook Ruler

As Zipping Tess ran last in the final of that event, no order was made under the provisions of GAR 83 (5).

Mr Mackay was advised of his rights of appeal.

This Week in Racing History

JANUARY

15th

Queensland stayer Worthy Reward annexed the 1994 Association Cup final at Wentworth Park, scoring by four lengths over Beau Rajah and Rob’s Rebel in 42.67. This set a new race record which stood until 2000.

16th

Connections of Chief Havoc announced the official retirement of the superstar in 1948. He had retired in mid-1947 but then returned successfully to the track winning five of seven starts and setting three track records.

Prey For Mercy scored a strong victory in the 2007 Gosford Gold Cup, picking up $25,000 for trainer Gary Grant and running a race record 29.95, shaving 1/100th from the previous mark

Miss Elly Mint won a 515-metre race at the Gardens by seven and a half lengths in 2009 to equal Kate’s A Scandal’s 1981 record of 15 consecutive TAB-class victories.

The brilliant Mantra Lad won the 2010 Association Cup at Wentworth Park by just over six lengths in a brilliant 42.14, smashing the race record set the previous year by 10/100ths.

17th

Milo’s Charm defeated former Victorian star Cabernet with Young Sultan third in a match race run over 500 yards (457m) at Cessnock in 1972.

Queensland champion Top Simbi won a record 12th consecutive race at the Gabba, scoring by three and a half lengths over 558 metres, in 1974. It was his 19th victory at the Brisbane circuit.

The Ned Bryant-trained Shining Chariot won the 1987 Cranbourne Cup. Among the beaten division were future stars Sydney Dingaan and Pharaoh’s Mask (who fell).

18th

NSW St Leger winner Likely Light scored by seven lengths over the former New Zealand sprinter Haste over 530 metres at Wentworth Park in her first start for 1973 and her first in top grade. She won in 30.9, which was 2/10ths outside the new track record, and her fourth win in just five starts at the Glebe track. Sadly, she would win only two more races out of the remaining 17 starts of her career.

19th

Mystic Hope defeated Lucky Draw by half a length to take out the inaugural running of the Gleeson & Tonta Trophy, over 732 metres at Olympic Park, in 1987. Fifth in the final was champion stayer Bold Trease.

NSW sprinter Forest Fin defeated Queensland star Jurassic Vapour with Victorian Golden Currency third in the 1995 Adelaide Cup, running a race record 29.33 at Angle Park.

The John Finn-trained Sheikha took out the first January running of the Paws of Thunder, in 2013. Sheikha defeated Cavendish Flyer by one length with Imry Bale third.

20th

A crowd of around 10,000 attended a race meeting at Wentworth Park in 1940, the largest since the track opened the previous October. The current star Machealor won his fourth successive race, the NCA Stake over 550 yards (503 metres), by a head in 31.1. Three greyhounds were barred by the stewards for fighting.

The Victorian Kilty Lad downed Perfect Fancy and Penthouse to win the 2011 Adelaide Cup at Angle Park. This was the last time the race was held in January.

21st

Track specialist Temlee used box one to perfection to take out the 1974 Maturity Classic over 511 metres at Olympic Park by nine lengths from the smart Sylvan Prince.

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