Tim Mullany Receives Six Month Disqualification In Berry Saga

RWWA Stewards today completed their inquiry with respect to Greyhound Trainer Mr Tim Mullany arising from the inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the presence of 61 greyhounds at a Nambeelup Park kennel property, the persons associated with these greyhounds and the actions and associations of registered persons with disqualified person Mr Graham Berry.

The inquiry had 2 previous sittings on 26 June 2014 and 10 July 2014, where evidence was taken from RWWA Principal Investigator Mr Phil O’Reilly, Deputy Chief Steward Mr Paul Searle, Ms Rebecca Watson, Mr Kody Charles, Mr Larry Valenti, Mr Tim Mullany, Mr Glen Price and Mr Dan Biddle. Ms Linda Hulsinga and Mr Graham Berry were also called to the inquiry.

At a hearing on 14 August 2014, Mr Mullany was found guilty to two charges under GAR 86 (ah). The particulars of the first charge were that Mr Mullany associated with disqualified person Mr Graham Berry for the purposes of greyhound racing by placing GOTTA BE LEGAL and an unnamed greyhound at Mr Berry’s premises, as discovered by RWWA Officials on 9 April 2014.

The particulars of the second charge were that Mr Mullany associated with disqualified person Mr Graham Berry for the purposes of greyhound racing by moving STANGA JILL to Mr Berry’s premises, as discovered by RWWA Officials on 9 April 2014.

In relation to the first charge, a disqualification of six (6) months was imposed.

In relation to the second charge, a disqualification of three (3) months was imposed.

In considering an appropriate penalty, Stewards took into account, amongst other things;

– Mr Mullany’s previous good record, personal circumstances and youth.
– The seriousness and circumstances of the offences
– His level of involvement and the status of the greyhounds concerned
– The need for deterrence both general and specific

The penalties are to be served concurrently. The term of disqualification therefore ends at midnight on 19 February 2015.

Kody Charles Fined $10,000 For Involvement In Graham Berry Inquiry

RWWA Stewards yesterday completed their inquiry with respect to Greyhound Trainer Mr Kody Charles arising from the inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the presence of 61 greyhounds at a Nambeelup Park kennel property, the persons associated with these greyhounds and the actions and associations of registered persons with disqualified person Mr Graham Berry.

Following previous inquiries where evidence was taken from numerous persons, at a hearing on 30 July 2014, Mr Charles pleaded not guilty to a charge issued under GAR 86 (h) with the particulars being that Mr Charles had attempted to interfere with the conduct of an investigation taking place on 9 April 2014 by telephoning disqualified person Mr Graham Berry shortly after the Stewards had left Mr Charles’ property when he was requested not to do so.

Following deliberation Mr Charles was found guilty and appeared before Stewards yesterday to make submissions on the question of penalty.

In considering an appropriate penalty, Stewards took into account, amongst other things;

– Mr Charles previous unblemished record across all codes (except for routine driving offences in harness)
– Mr Charles youth and personal circumstances
– Mr Charles significant level of involvement and investment in Thoroughbred, Harness and Greyhound Racing and the consequent extended implications disqualification would have in all the codes
– The seriousness and circumstances of the offence

Stewards issued a fine of $10,000 for the above offence.

Inquiries in relation to charges issued to Mr T Mullany, Ms L Hulsinga and Mr G Berry continue to be progressed, with penalties already issued to Mr D Biddle, Miss R Watson, and Mr G Price arising from this investigation as previously advised.

Rebecca Watson Disqualified For 18 Months

RWWA Stewards today completed their inquiry with respect to Greyhound Trainer Miss Rebecca Watson arising from the inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the presence of 61 greyhounds at a Nambeelup Park kennel property, the persons associated with these greyhounds and the actions and associations of registered persons with disqualified person Mr Graham Berry.

The inquiry had 3 previous sittings on 26 June, 10 and 31 July 2014, where evidence was taken from RWWA Principal Investigator Mr Phil O’Reilly, Deputy Chief Steward Mr Paul Searle, Ms Rebecca Watson, Mr Kody Charles, Mr Larry Valenti, Mr Tim Mullany, Mr Glen Price and Mr Dan Biddle. Ms Linda Hulsinga and Mr Graham Berry were also called to the inquiry.

At a hearing on 31 July 2014, Miss Watson was found guilty to two under GAR 86 (ah) in that she associated with disqualified person Mr Graham Berry for the purposes of greyhound racing by relocating greyhounds discovered at the property at Nambeelup by Stewards on 9 April 2014.

Miss Watson pleaded guilty to a third charge under Rule 136 relating to relocating 16 of COSMIC RUMBLE/KIP DYNAMITE PUPS to the property in question prior to the litter being ear-branded and micro-chipped without the consent of the Controlling Body.

In considering an appropriate penalty, Stewards took into account, amongst other things;

– Miss Watson’s previous record and personal circumstances
– The seriousness and circumstances of the offences
– Her level of involvement with respect to the relocation of the greyhounds concerned in relation to Charges 1 and 2
– The need for deterrence both general and specific

In relation to the two charges under GAR86 (ah) Stewards imposed a disqualification of eighteen (18) months. In relation to the charge under Rule 136, Stewards imposed a disqualification of nine (9) months.

All penalties are to be served concurrently.

Inquiries in relation to charges issued to Mr Tim Mullany, Mr Kody Charles, Ms Linda Hulsinga, Mr Glen Price, and Mr Graham Berry arising from this matter are currently in progress.

Glen Price Fined $750 In The Graham Berry Inquiry

RWWA Stewards today completed their inquiry with respect to Greyhound Trainer Mr Glen Price arising from the inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the presence of 61 greyhounds at a Nambeelup Park kennel property, the persons associated with these greyhounds and the actions and associations of registered persons with disqualified person Mr Graham Berry.

The inquiry had 2 previous sittings on 26 June and 10 July where evidence was taken from RWWA Principal Investigator Mr Phil O’Reilly, Deputy Chief Steward Mr Paul Searle, Ms Rebecca Watson, Mr Kody Charles, Mr Larry Valenti, Mr Tim Mullany, Mr Glen Price and Mr Dan Biddle. Ms Linda Hulsinga and Mr Graham Berry were also called to the inquiry.

After considering the evidence various charges have been issued against Mr Tim Mullany, Mr Dan Biddle, Mr Kody Charles, Ms Linda Hulsinga, Mr Glen Price, Ms Rebecca Watson and Mr Graham Berry. The inquiry is currently progressing to hear each respective case in due course.

At a hearing on 31 July 2014, Mr Price pleaded guilty to a single charge. The charge was issued under GAR 86(o) with the offence being that Mr Price omitted to advise RWWA that a racing greyhound under his care and control, had been removed from his kennels and was then discovered by RWWA Officials on 9 April 2014 at the premises of disqualified person Mr Graham Berry, which was considered negligent.

A fine of $750 was imposed.

In considering an appropriate penalty, Stewards took into account, amongst other things;

– Mr Price’s previous record and assistance to the inquiry
– The seriousness of the offence
– Mr Price’s current status and personal circumstances
– The circumstances surrounding the commission of the offences
– That Mr Price was not responsible for placing the greyhound at the Nambeelup property

Dan Biddle Disqualified For Nine Months And Fined $1000

RWWA Stewards yesterday issued their decision with respect to penalty in relation to Greyhound Trainer Mr Dan Biddle arising from the inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the presence of 61 greyhounds at a Nambeelup Park kennel property, the persons associated with these greyhounds and the actions and associations of registered persons with disqualified person Mr Graham Berry.

The inquiry had 2 previous sittings on 26 June and 10 July where evidence was taken from RWWA Principal Investigator Mr Phil O’Reilly, Deputy Chief Steward Mr Paul Searle, Ms Rebecca Watson, Mr Kody Charles, Mr Larry Valenti, Mr Tim Mullany, Mr Glen Price and Mr Dan Biddle. Ms Linda Hulsinga and Mr Graham Berry were also called to the inquiry.

After considering the evidence various charges have been issued against Mr Tim Mullany, Mr Dan Biddle, Mr Kody Charles, Ms Linda Hulsinga, Mr Glen Price, Ms Rebecca Watson and Mr Graham Berry. The inquiry is currently progressing to hear each respective case in due course.

At a hearing on 24 July 2014, Mr Biddle pleaded guilty to three charges. Two charges were under GAR 86 (ah) in that Mr Biddle associated with disqualified person Mr Graham Berry for the purposes of greyhound racing. The third charge was under GAR 86 (d) in that he made a false and misleading statement on a Notification for Whelping for the BLACK WOLF/SHAMBI GEM litter lodged with RWWA on 24 March 2014.

In relation to the two charges under GAR 86 (ah), Mr Biddle was disqualified for nine (9) months for each offence. In relation to the third charge under GAR 86 (d), a fine of $1000 was imposed.

In considering an appropriate penalty, Stewards took into account, amongst other things;

– Mr Biddle’s previous record
– The seriousness of all offences
– Mr Biddle current status and personal circumstances
– The circumstances surrounding the commission of the offences
– The need for both general and specific deterrence
– The periods of disqualification are to be served concurrently and took effect as of the issue of the decision yesterday.

In view of the circumstances of this case and that charge three was in relation to a number of puppies having been relocated to the care and control of a disqualified person prior to ear branding and micro chipping taking place, the Stewards acting under Rule 138 (5) have directed that all puppies from the BLACK WOLF x SHAMBI GEM litter whelped on 10 March 2014 will be subject to DNA fingerprint analysis for the purpose of ascertaining the correct parentage of each greyhound which must be completed within 3 months from yesterday’s decision.

Michael Hooper Receives $250 Suspended Fine

Greyhound Racing NSW stewards conducted a hearing on Friday, 8 August 2014 into a charge against trainer Michael Hooper under GAR 86 (f) (iii) of having published comments in a Facebook posting on Monday, 7 July 2014, which was deemed by stewards to be improper.

Submissions were taken by Mr Hooper, who pleaded guilty to the charge and was subsequently fined $250, with the penalty wholly suspended for six months on the provision that Mr Hooper has no further breaches under the same rule within that period.

In considering penalty, stewards took into account Mr Hooper’s guilty plea, his honest and forthright presentation at the hearing, his demonstrated contrition and subsequent removal of the post. Stewards also took into account Mr Hooper’s previous record in relation to conduct matters across 21 years of licensing, his industry involvement and several industry references.

Stewards also considered the impact that such matters may have upon the image of the greyhound racing industry and the need to establish a general deterrent of low tolerance of such behaviour, which potentially could adversely impact the industry.

Mr Hooper was advised of his rights of appeal.

Report Delayed Again And Trainers Unhappy

The troops are grumbling in both NSW and Queensland. Following a private meeting of several NSW club and industry advisory groups a week ago, it seems a presentation to the Racing Minister is being drafted in the hope of achieving improvements in the way GRNSW is running things.

Fine details are not available but apparently a major beef is that costs are up and prize money has not kept pace. That’s hardly news and the subject was well explored in the parliamentary Inquiry earlier in the year. Since the Inquiry’s basic report has been out for some time and is being considered by the Minister you have to wonder about the purpose of the fresh push. In any event, this is one subject that GRNSW has frequently mentioned in its own publications, although it has been very short on suitable solutions.

Whatever the merits of the case, to try to influence the Minister at this stage is pointless. He will simply advise people to wait until the final report is available and he has had a chance to review it.

What is a pity is that the final report – to follow on from an internal financial investigation by the NSW Treasury – is delayed again until mid-October, three months after it was promised.

We have no idea what that will say but I am always doubtful about the competence of the Treasury to come up with useful recommendations in respect to business matters. Their history includes a forced increase in taxes on Win bets, which then caused truckloads of turnover to disappear down the Hume Highway to Melbourne. It was scrapped a few weeks later.

We should also note that Professor Percy Allen, who had a lengthy stint as chairman of GRNSW, himself came from a career as the big cheese in that same Treasury. Yet he was one of the leading objectors to the arrival and legalisation of Betfair and the online bookies from the Northern Territory. At one stage he made an impassioned speech to greyhound followers at the Social Club, calling on them to boycott the newcomers. Bean counting and obsolete traditions outweighed good business sense, and he was far from alone.

To add salt to the wound, the various state Ministers convened a high level group of racing department officials (the Betting Exchange Task Force) to consider submissions and report on the worth of betting exchanges. It seems they came with riding instructions because the group (NT excepted) concluded they would be a fate worth than death and should be banned.

Submissions to that study embraced each state’s own racing department as well as TABs and major racing authorities, all of whom were either emotionally opposed to the newcomers (viz Percy Allen) or had vested interests (viz the TABs).

They did not bother to check the facts and investigate the betting exchange history in the UK, where both The Jockey Club (which controls UK gallops) and various police bodies had found that Betfair was not only useful but had been able to uncover systematic race fixing scandals which had previously gone unnoticed. Rather than constituting a risk, Betfair had proved to be a boon to racing.

The same ignorance was evident in Queensland, where the GRA was then chaired by a prominent local accountant. All these organisations ignored the fact that thousands of customers were deserting the monopoly TABs at the time, never mind whether the newcomers were “legal” or not.

Not to forget the misguided action by the WA Minister to outlaw Betfair’s operation in that state, only to be shot down in flames when the High Court over-ruled his decision.

Or the action of the Tasmanian government to sell off its tote to the smaller and less competitive Tatts organisation, thereby ensuring that much local business would switch (or continue) to the larger Tabcorp system based in Melbourne.

No organised revolution is present in Queensland today but there is a constant barrage of criticism from participants and commentators about the way Racing Queensland operates and how it is structured – “jobs for the boys” is a typical complaint and two members of the initial RQ board have now resigned, apparently in disgust. Greyhound racing in the state is in relentless decline, and has been for the last 20 years, but remedial action is absent.

The fact that some of these incompetent business decisions have now been reversed serves only to underscore the inability of the industry, including those in government, to act appropriately and in the best interests of the various codes and their participants.

In such a climate, what can we expect the two state governments to do? Queensland is clearly hopeless as the motives behind its new governance set-up are peculiar, to say the least, and the individual code boards are effectively powerless where it counts most. In NSW the new Racing Minister is an unknown but nothing has happened since the new government took over, save a recent decision to donate a few million to the gallops to help with their staging of the “Championships” next year. In any event, historically Racing Ministers are low on the political totem pole and may not get to see their preferences satisfied (Victoria is an exception, at least until the next election).

Going back to the NSW Treasury, all we can hope for is a recommendation to reduce government racing taxes on greyhounds, bringing them more into line with those applying in Victoria, for example. The Inquiry will then take a while to consider its position. What the politicians do after that is in the lap of the gods. Whatever, it is hard to see much benefit coming from an attack on the Minister right now. Later, perhaps.

All of which bypasses the real problem with racing organisations – their bureaucratic and unresponsive nature and their lack of business acumen. As one of the current NSW campaigners correctly pointed out – there is no real accountability for the job they do.

FEWER WORDS, MORE FACTS, PLEASE

The great Richie Benaud advised newcomers to the commentary game that “if you can’t add something to the picture then say nothing”. At the same time a group of us used to have bets on how many mistakes Tony Greig would make in each turn with the microphone – two to four was the usual range. Sometimes I think Victorian stewards should have been picking up these clues, too.

After race 11 at The Meadows last Saturday they advised, “My Kinda Music (4) crossed to the rail approaching the first turn checking Velocemente and Sapporo. Velocemente and Dyna Fulcrum collided on the first turn causing Dyna Fulcrum to race wide”.

The first bit was only half right. It did chop off Sapporo (2) but Velocemente (1), a moderate beginner, was well behind and not involved. Then Velocemente ran off on the first turn – of its own volition – something which was unusual since it is a railer. That warranted a comment but it did not get one. Far better to have said nothing so viewers would not be misled. Alternatively, they could point out to those in charge that the turn is too sharp and needs remodelling – perhaps at the same time as they re-position the wham-bang-thank-you-ma’am start for 600m races.

Jay Schafer Fined $2500 For Positive Swab

Racing Queensland (RQ) Stewards today conducted an Inquiry into the analyst’s findings in respect of a urine sample taken from the registered greyhound Breaker Bar which competed at the Townsville Greyhound Racing Club on 27th May, 2014 in race 9.

After taking evidence from Mr Jay Schafer the trainer of Breaker Bar, Stewards issued a charge against Mr Schafer pursuant to Greyhounds Australasia Rule 83 (2)(a).

GAR 83 (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 a prohibited substance.

The specifics of the charge were that on 27th May 2014, Jay Schafer, as the licensed trainer of the registered greyhound Breaker Bar, did present that greyhound to compete in race 9 at the Townsville Greyhound Racing Club, when a urine sample taken from the greyhound prior to it competing in that race was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance ‘6alpha-hydroxystanozolol’.

Mr Schafer pleaded guilty to the charge.

When assessing an appropriate penalty, Stewards took into account the personal circumstances of Mr Schafer as well as his good record regarding breaches of this rule. Mr Schafer was fined $2500.00.

Under the provisions of Greyhounds Australasia Rule 83 (4) Breaker Bar was disqualified from its 4th placing in race 9 at the Townsville Greyhound Racing Club on 27th May 2014.

The placing from the 380m held on 27th May 2014 were amended accordingly.

Mr Schafer was advised of his appeal rights.

Peter Roy Fined $1500 For Meloxicam Positive

Racing Queensland (RQ) Stewards today conducted an Inquiry into the analyst’s findings in respect of a urine sample taken from the registered greyhound Fyre Gal which competed at the Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club on 31 May 2014 in race 1.

After taking evidence from Mr Peter Roy the trainer of Fyre Gal, Stewards issued a charge against Mr Roy pursuant to Greyhounds Australasia Rule 83 (2)(a), which reads:

The owner, trainer or person in charge of a greyhound nominated to compete in an event shall present the greyhound free of a prohibited substance.

The specifics of the charge were that on 31 May 2014, Peter Roy, as the licensed trainer of the greyhound Fyre Gal, did present that greyhound to compete in race 1 at the Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club, when a urine sample taken from the greyhound after competing in that race was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance Meloxicam.

Mr Roy pleaded guilty to the charge.

When considering an appropriate penalty Steward took into account Mr. Roy’s previously unblemished record, the honest and forthright evidence he provided and his involvement in the industry over a long period. Precedents for similar breaches were also taken into account. Stewards were also mindful of the negative effect charges of this kind have on the good image of the industry and recognise a need for a penalty to serve as a general deterrent. Stewards considered an appropriate penalty to be a fine of $1500.

Under the provisions of Greyhounds Australasia Rule 83 (4) Fyre Gal was disqualified from its 1st placing in race 1 at the Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club on 31 May 2014.

The placings from the 520m Maiden held on 31 May 2014 were amended accordingly.

Mr Roy was advised of his appeal rights.

Additional ARG Information

Meloxicam is a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug and is used in the treatment of tenderness and swelling.

Tabcorp Hedging Its Bets

Following falls in normal TAB business in 2013/14 Tabcorp is looking to increase the proportion of betting done via smartphones and the like, particularly in respect to in-play bets which are currently available only through phone or personal contact. Overall, digital betting rose 18.2% to $2.9 billion during the year.

CEO David Attenborough wants to see punters wandering around ClubTabs and PubTabs furiously thumbing their I-Pads and the like as the field heads up the back straight. TAB licensees would be pleased as the extra business (assuming they get the credit) would help with the economics of running their facilities, and also make their venues more valuable in the long term.

Last year retail betting volumes fell 4.9% in Victoria and 1.2% in NSW, which would have been offset by the increasing Fixed Odds business where the company saw a 37% rise in revenue (the turnover figure was not stated).

The benefits of in-play betting for greyhound races are dubious due to the short time frames involved. In fact, how Tabcorp’s price assessors might operate is also a mystery given the huge advantages accruing to leaders. It would be practical only for longer galloping and harness races.

It would be far more helpful to see TABs set up decent “bookmaking” facilities under their Fixed Odds banner, where punitive books of 130% or so are now the norm. More so as genuine bookmaking is almost a lost art in greyhound racing, certainly at most TAB tracks.

A breakdown of Tabcorp’s racing turnover shows NSW with $3,819 million and Victoria with $2,762 million. Its Luxbet “bookmaking” subsidiary in the Northern Territory showed almost no increase.

However, the declining importance of tote betting places even more pressure on the need to create a national betting pool, particularly for greyhound racing which suffers from too many tiny and unworkable local pools. Both state Treasurers (in taxes) and racing authorities (in commissions) have much to gain due to their higher takes from traditional betting forms.

Added to that is the relatively poor performance of the betting exchange Betfair, which is struggling to maintain a level. So much so that James Packer’s interests have now bought out the British parent’s half of the action. His future strategies are unknown but he has shown a long term preference for gaming rather than wagering, unlike his late father.

This is a pity as the concept of a betting exchange provides a significant alternative to traditional means of betting. That’s worth its weight in gold at a time when genuine bookmakers are becoming thin on the ground.

A CHANGING MEDIA LANDSCAPE

If you get one bad apple, how can you be sure there are not more in the bag?

Readers may be amazed to learn that reporter Natalie O’Brien from Fairfax has just won a media award for environmental investigations (not related to racing this time). O’Brien was responsible for a series of heavily biased reports on greyhound racing around the time of the establishment of the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry. Some of those reports extensively quoted dissenting comments by Inquiry deputy chairman Dr John Kaye MLC (Greens) who has himself been side-lined by his fellow members for his lopsided views.

Both these people have clearly indicated they just don’t like greyhound racing. No special reason, they just don’t like it. Well, that’s their right.

O’Brien’s articles occurred around the time of the strongly slanted and poorly researched ABC TV program about greyhound “abuses” on the 7:30 Report. And, while O’Brien’s articles purported to be “reporting”, in practice their limited views should have placed them under an “Opinion” heading. Clearly the paper’s management is not very observant. Or perhaps they just don’t understand racing.

All have since been discredited by the Inquiry, which reported favourably on the care and dedication of greyhound participants. However, it was critical of the code’s administration. A final report on the financial outlook for greyhound racing is due very soon.

In my view, the lack of balanced reporting in the (now) left-leaning Sydney Morning Herald and the ABC means consumers should take anything they say with a grain of salt. I don’t trust either, and nor do many learned observers far more competent than me. For the moment, I am continuing with my SMH subscription only to keep track of what is going on and because I like to get their crosswords and football commentary.

Meantime, although it is a year since this kerfuffle emerged, no action has been seen from racing authorities to better inform the general public about the industry or the greyhound breed. Our leaders seem to think that if they keep punching out media releases which are read only by industry insiders that all will be well. That will not happen. The public will never come to us – we have to go to them.

Let’s take the words out of Hilary Clinton’s mouth. In an interview on America’s future, reported by the Wall Street Journal and The Australian she advised, “We should take pride in ourselves and make our case to the world. We don’t even tell our story very well.” Exactly.

As for awards, many of these appear to be insiders applauding other insiders. All very nice but hardly objective.

DESIGN TO ELIMINATE CROWDING

At Sandown in race 10 yesterday stewards thought fit to mention that “Sky Fighter crossed to the rail soon after the start checking Yakamov Bale, Kerrigan Bale, Eliza Blanche, Sisco Good, Zipping Snoopy, Dr. Don”.

Well, technically, there is a grain of truth in that, but not much more. Sky Fighter is not a crasher and did not crash on this occasion. It simply moved gradually across to the rail, leading by the time it got to the judge.

What really generated all the interference, and there was plenty, was Kerrigan Bale (1) moving out immediately after the jump, thereby inconveniencing favourite Eliza Blanche (2) and generally squeezing up the field. Therefore it appeared that Sky Fighter did more damage than it was really responsible for.

The point about this is not just to pin-prick the stewards’ words (although they could have done better) but to emphasise how important it is to devise ways of designing tracks so that dogs are encouraged to stay further apart. That may not change anything either of these two dogs did but it may help the rest of them.

As a further illustration, in two other races the inside squeezing led to two very good gallopers but moderate beginners from box 8 being able to whizz around the field on the first turn to record really smart times (Allen Deed, R8 and Shot To Bits, R12). Both deserved to win but other runners were denied a similar chance. The fix? Not entirely sure but Hobart may offer a few clues.

This Week In Racing History

AUGUST
13

Tara Princess won the inaugural Laurels Classic, in 1964. The Syd Barrett-trained bitch ran the 555 yards trip at Sandown Park in 31.44.

Spread Eagled lived up to his name as he took out the 1990 Anniversary Trophy (Olympic Park, 511 metres) by four lengths from the smart Eureka Man, overcoming box five.

14
Marcy Maree won a maiden stake at Moree over 453 yards from box one in 1971, at the age of just 10 months. She was believed to be the youngest chaser to ever win a race at a licensed meeting.

Track specialist Footmark defeated Maria’s Mystery, another local star, in a match race run over 684 metres at Maitland in 1974.

Irinka Barbie notched her 14th victory (from only 21 attempts) over 720 metres at Wentworth Park, in 2004. This equalled the record of 14 wins at the 720 metres trip on the loam surface at the track, set by Pearl Larrcki. It would prove to be her last distance win at the Sydney course. The race was a heat of the NSW division of the National Distance Championship. Irinka Barbie would finish second to Classy Customer in the final the following week.

Knocka Norris defeated Made To Size by nine lengths to win the 2008 National Sprint Championship Queensland State Final for trainer Reg Kay.

15
William Charles won the 1988 Anniversary Trophy, run over 511 metres at Olympic Park. Trained by Graeme Bate, William Charles scored by three-quarters of a length from The Earbrander with Terminal Time a head away third.

16
Mantra Lad equalled the track record of 42.28 for 725 metres at The Meadows when taking out the 2008 National Distance Championship Victorian State Final by six and a half lengths.

17
Montana Jet equalled the track record of 27.0 over 500 yards at Temora in 1957, notching her fifth win in six career starts. She was just 13 months old.

Saki Dasher ploughed through the heavy track to take out the 1970 Anniversary Trophy final over 800 yards at Olympic Park, scoring by three and a half lengths for owner-trainer Randall Hutchinson.

18
Karen Janet won the 1998 Australian Airlines Sprint Trophy, run over 511 metres at Olympic Park. She scored by just half a length from the smart Bright Judge. Future Melbourne Cup winner Speedy Mick was fifth.

19
Punters staged a demonstration against the judges decision after the running of the Harold Park Stake (660 yards) in 1933. Odds-on favourite Footlight Flashes had fought the eventual winner Veassa in the home straight, going down officially by a neck. Stewards later barred Footlight Flashes from future races, so he was taken to Victoria and went on to win the 1933 Melbourne Cup.

Ascapella Miss scored by 13 lengths over 749 metres at Gawler in 1974, running a new track record time of 45.20.

At the Gabba in 1976, Joy Of Salome was engaged in a race when she was tackled by a young male as the field swept onto the home turn. Joy Of Salome, a 14/1 ($15.00) chance, was running sixth at the time. The man wrestled her to the ground. A number of spectators converged on the man but police arrested him first and took him from the ground. Stewards ordered all bets be paid after viewing film of the race and determining the result had not been affected by the incident.

A Mixed Bag At Sandown

There was something for everyone at Sandown on Thursday night, including some quite smart wins led in by Ollie Bale’s 29.32.

Most remarkable were two last to first runs by Dyna Ostrander (29.71) and Wind Whistler (29.49). That sort of thing happens rarely in sprints, particularly not around a circle track, but both did it well.

However, the Free For All (race 8) was really odd. Several dogs got a look at the bunny but could not go on with it, leaving Tyronimo to storm along the rails in a solid 29.59. Favourite Keybow was well under the odds on recent form but managed only to plug along for 3rd place. Quick Succession, which should have been favourite but was way over the odds at $8.20, led easily but dropped out on the home turn, apparently suffering from a minor injury. The well performed Musquin Bale had a peek but could not go on with it.

Whatever the reasons, most of these dogs looked jaded. Previously, all have run equal or better time than the winner. But all except one (the rank outsider) also raced last Saturday at The Meadows, five days ago, and have had a solid campaign behind them. Too solid, it seems. Do they need time to frolic in the paddock?

The big race went predictably. Xylia Allen, after an uninterrupted run from box 2, got home comfortably in 41.90 to qualify for the National Championships. That’s a pretty average time for the trip and three lengths slower than it ran in its heat a week earlier. Indeed, the much lower rated Zipping Maggie chalked up its first distance win in the following race, a 5th grade, running one length faster time than Xylia Allen.

It is also a pattern that Xylia Allen has repeated time and again, demonstrating that it can’t back up very well in successive weeks. Nor can most of the others although Dyna Willow was unlucky to be barrelled on the first turn. Sweet It Is runs like a clock in any distance race and its 2nd placing in 42.12 was to be expected but will never be good enough to win a top class event.

Xylia Allen now faces a transcontinental voyage, a strange track and an unknown box in a couple of week’s time in its attempt to win the National event. Make sure you get good odds. With a clear run for both it is hard to see how it can hold out NSW stayer Dusty Moonshine, assuming it wins tomorrow’s run-off at Wentworth Park.

Meanwhile, Wag Tail scraped home at Albion Park in a fair 41.99 to book a ticket to Perth. It is an honest trier and can probably do better if it gets an inside box and some room but still looks only a place chance.

Finally, Victorian stewards rate yet another mention following this comment on race 4 at Sandown: “Strange Wish was slow to begin”.

In fact, Strange Wish speared out of the box, led by three lengths half way down the straight, ran 5.02 to the judge and then led until the home turn. When they write stuff like that, it does not give you much confidence about anything else they do. Thank heavens for race videos.

BET365 BATTLING

Online bookie Bet365 lost $40.8 million in the just completed financial year as it tried to establish a beachhold in the Australian online market. Revenue and customer numbers were well up but so were expenses for its 210 employees. It now claims 11% of an online market of about $13 billion.

Bet365 in Australia is majority owned by a British billionaire via its parent company of the same name.

Readers will remember Bet365 was on the other side of a claim by NSW owner/trainer Matthew Brunker last year before the Northern Territory Racing Commission.

Brunker invested thousands of dollars with Bet365 on a range of First Four options in a Maiden race at Ipswich and, when it succeeded, expected a huge payout for four winning bets. Previously, someone had placed Win bets of some thousands of dollars on an un-raced dog to make it a short-priced favourite. However, Brunker and his associates left that dog out of all their First Four combinations, raising the suspicion of Bet365 that the race was “fixed”.

A big complication was that Brunker claimed for four winning combinations each paying $14,000 on the Tattsbet tote – a claim that Bet365 first rejected and then later agreed to part-pay. The anomaly is that there was less than $4,000 cash available in the normal Tattsbet pool to pay out winning punters. However, like its opposite number, Tabcorp, the Queensland tote publishes fanciful figures for First Four dividends when no winners are available. Both assume an imaginary investment of 50 cents or less and so artificially inflate the published dividend – presumable to encourage lottery-like investments from mug gamblers.

While the NTRC basically supported Bet365 actions because of its listed rules, it also recommended that Queensland stewards and police should review the case for fraud. There is no record of any such police action while the stewards looked at the case but found no breach of the rules, despite the fact that the hot favourite finished last in the race and there was considerable doubt about the way it had been prepared for the race.

Subsequently, Bet365 amended its own betting rules in order to restrict payouts where “incorrect” dividends had been declared. This generated numerous complaints from its existing customers, mainly because it left Bet365 with the ability to decide what was correct and what incorrect.

Racing was not the winner.

Ruth King Disqualified For Six Months

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards have concluded an inquiry into the use by trainer Ruth King of a warned off person to assist in the training of greyhounds pursuant to her care.

GRNSW became aware of the alleged breach of the rules after receiving a surveillance report on Ms King from its investigator on 23 April 2014, which exposed the alleged breach of the rules.

Ms King was represented at the inquiry by Lenz Legal. The inquiry was opened on Friday 16 May 2014 and was adjourned to 24 July 2014 to allow examination of photographs, footage and exhibits tendered.

After representations from counsel, Ms King pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 101 (2) in that on the morning of 23 April 2014 she had permitted Ray King, an unlicensed person who was warned off all racetracks in 2003, to assist in the training of greyhounds in her care.

Ms King was subsequently disqualified for a period of six months, to expire at midnight on 22 October 2014. This period is inclusive of the period already spent as Ms King was suspended from 23 April 2014 under the provisions of GAR 92 (5).

In considering penalty, stewards took into account Ms King’s guilty plea, her cooperation with the inquiry, her good record in relation to serious offences over a period of more than 30 years of registration, her work in a voluntary capacity at race clubs and the fact the breach did not occur at a public race track or trial track.

Notwithstanding these factors, stewards regard the breach as a serious offence which forms an attack on the regulation of greyhound racing. It was the use of a person who had been warned off for offences of the highest order during a tumultuous period for the industry. Ms King had also previously been cautioned over the use of Mr King to assist in the training of greyhounds in 2005.

Ms King did not appeal the decision.

ARG Opinion:

GRNSW refused an application from Ray King for a attendant’s licence back in 2010. It was determined at this time that Ray’s lifelong ban would remain in tact and nothing has changed.

What Ruth King has done is obviously against the rules of greyhound racing in NSW, but does the penalty suit the crime? Six months seems like a lengthy outing for having a banned person walk a dog in comparison to some sentences for positive swabs, which is a far more serious breach.

Dan Biddle Receives Lengthy Disqualification And $1000 Fine

RWWA Stewards yesterday issued their decision with respect to penalty in relation to Greyhound Trainer Mr Dan Biddle arising from the inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the presence of 61 greyhounds at a Nambeelup Park kennel property, the persons associated with these greyhounds and the actions and associations of registered persons with disqualified person Mr Graham Berry.

The inquiry had 2 previous sittings on 26 June and 10 July where evidence was taken from RWWA Principle Investigator Mr Phil O’Reilly, Deputy Chief Steward Mr Paul Searle, Ms Rebecca Watson, Mr Kody Charles, Mr Larry Valenti, Mr Tim Mullany, Mr Glen Price and Mr Dan Biddle. Ms Linda Hulsinga and Mr Graham Berry were also called to the inquiry.

After considering the evidence various charges have been issued against Mr Tim Mullany, Mr Dan Biddle, Mr Kody Charles, Ms Linda Hulsinga, Mr Glen Price, Ms Rebecca Watson and Mr Graham Berry. The inquiry is currently progressing to hear each respective case in due course.

At a hearing on 24 July 2014, Mr Biddle pleaded guilty to three charges. Two charges were under GAR 86 (ah) in that Mr Biddle associated with disqualified person Mr Graham Berry for the purposes of greyhound racing. The third charge was under GAR 86 (d) in that he made a false and misleading statement on a Notification for Whelping for the Black Wolf/Shambi Gem litter lodged with RWWA on 24 March 2014.

In relation to the two charges under GAR 86 (ah), Mr Biddle was disqualified for nine (9) months for each offence. In relation to the third charge under GAR 86 (d), a fine of $1000 was imposed.

In considering an appropriate penalty, Stewards took into account, amongst other things;

o Mr Biddle’s previous record
o The seriousness of all offences
o Mr Biddle current status and personal circumstances
o The circumstances surrounding the commission of the offences
o The need for both general and specific deterrence

The periods of disqualification are to be served concurrently and took effect as of the issue of the decision yesterday.

In view of the circumstances of this case and that charge three was in relation to a number of puppies having been relocated to the care and control of a disqualified person prior to ear branding and micro chipping taking place, the Stewards acting under Rule 138 (5) have directed that all puppies from the Black Wolf x Shambi Gem litter whelped on 10 March 2014 will be subject to DNA fingerprint analysis for the purpose of ascertaining the correct parentage of each greyhound which must be completed within 3 months from yesterday’s decision.

Tony Vass Disqualified For Two Months For Dexamethasone Positive

Offence:

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

Report:

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

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

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

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

Mr. Tony Vass represented himself.

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

Mr. Tony Vass pleaded not guilty to the charge.

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

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

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

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

Mepunga Tiara Crowned The 2014 Group Two Victorian Distance Champion

If pre-race comments are any way to measure the happiness of a trainer after an event, then Anakie mentor Jeff Britton will be as happy as the proverbial pig in mud.

When speaking about his bitch Mepunga Tiara to ARG through the week, Britton said “I’ll be happy if she can run a place.”

She did that and a whole lot more on Saturday night at The Meadows when she landed the Group Two 2014 AWM Victorian Distance Championship. In the process, the daughter of Premier Fantasy and Mepunga Opal (Hallucinate – Mepunga Spark) not only picked up a cool $40,000.

After exiting box six in fourth place, Mepunga Tiara quickly mustered pace to sit in second, racing about three dogs off the fence behind early leader Lethal Three (3) while youngster Zipping Rory (8) was in third place.

Odds-on favourite Xylia Allen (1) was slowly away and found herself in fifth as the field went down the home straight on the first occasion.

The leading trio raced in that order until they left the back straight when Mepunga Tiara took over. Zipping Rory also made good ground and loomed as some sort of threat.

However as they turned for home, Mepunga Tiara’s strength became evident as she quickly beat off the challengers and made the race her own.

When she crossed the line, the 27kg black bitch had stopped the clock at 42.66 in winning by a length.

Dyna Willow (4) did not have an abundance of luck in running and made good ground late to grab second while Zipping Rory ran a credible third.

Of the beaten brigade, Xylia Allen’s tardy start saw her feature heavily in the stewards report including colliding on the home turn on both occasions, as well as a brush with the running rail mid-race. There is no doubt that she is capable of much better and will not be out of the winners circle for too long.

Lethal Three was unable to maintain her early lead and knocked up to finish fifth. Zipping Joe (5), Arejay Smokey (7) and Zipping Maggie (2) were probably the worst served in terms of interference and as a result, were never in the hunt. They filled the last three positions in that order.

The win was a part of what proved to be a night to remember for Jeff Britton. Two races later he made it a feature race double when he landed the Group One Maturity with Mepunga Hayley.

Britton also took out Race Four with Cosmic Wise and Race Nine with Mepunga Fearon.

The 2014 Distance Championship victory was Mepunga Tiara’s ninth career win from 34 starts and she has now amassed over $120,000 in prizemoney.

Full Results

1st: Mepunga Tiara (6) – Jeff Britton
2nd: Dyna Willow (4) – Steven Collins
3rd: Zipping Rory (8) – Bethany Dapiran
4th: Xylia Allen (1) – Jenny Hunt
5th: Lethal Three (3) – Kelly Bravo
6th: Zipping Joe (5) – Darren McDonald
7th: Arejay Smokey (7) – Bob Iredale
8th: Zipping Maggie (2) – Peter Dapiran

Time: 42.66
1st split: 4.92
2nd split: 15.97
3rd split: 29.78
Margins: 1 x 1/4
Scratchings: Galloping Rocky (9) and Liara Allen (10)

John Frewin Fined $150 For Non-Arrival

Offence:

Failure to present the greyhound Elite Watch for its engagement at the Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club meeting on the 19th of June, 2014.

Report:

Stewards on the 18th of July 2014 conducted an inquiry into an incident that occurred at the Warrnambool Greyhound Racing club meeting on the 19th of June, 2014 where the greyhound Elite Watch failed to be presented for its engagement in race six.

Stewards heard evidence from the trainer of Elite Watch, Mr. John Frewin, and registered trainer Mr. Keith Lloyd.

After hearing the evidence, Stewards charged Mr. Frewin with a breach of GAR 86(o) in that he failed to present the greyhound Elite Watch for its engagement at the Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club Meeting on the 19th of June, 2014, which in the opinion of stewards was negligent.

Mr. Frewin pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Stewards found Mr. Frewin guilty and fined him the sum of $150.

In determining penalty stewards took into account Mr. Frewin’s outstanding record over 41 years in the industry.

Good Information Can Promote Success

Stewardship matters never seem to go away. At Sandown last Thursday, here is what stewards said about Race 9. “Al Moran (7) crossed to the inside soon after the start checking Peloton Bale (6), All One Size (5) and Ready To Riot (4)”. (Box numbers added).

In fact, Al Moran never got close to Peloton Bale or All One Size and, if it brushed Ready To Riot, the impact was minute and not relevant. In particular, Peloton Bale walked out of the box, as it is prone to do at times, and there was no chance at all for it to get checked by Al Moran, which jumped smartly and went almost straight ahead until reaching the turn.

Sometimes it’s hard to know if we are all on the same planet. Why would stewards write such stuff?

Fortunately, the GRV race results pages and videos are otherwise very informative and easy to view, print or download. But the stewards’ reports can be grossly misleading. We are better off without them, except where they concern injuries and matters which warrant penalties. Even then, sometimes you are better off seeing for yourself.

In contrast to Victoria, race results offered by GRNSW, which now cover four states, are a pain in the butt. Downloading is impossible in practice and printouts are not available as the site serves up only one race at a time. (Experiences may vary slightly, depending on your equipment). Formguides are equally impracticable as they require excessive amounts of paper to print out, contain lots of secondary pieces of information which should be made available elsewhere, and are missing numerous sectional times. Oddly, both SA and WA joined the NSW camp (in Ozchase) when they had far superior formguides in their own systems, particularly in WA.

In Queensland, slated to join the NSW brigade later on, basic results are fairly handy. However, while their videos are probably the best in the business, you have to cover more ground than the early explorers to find them, and then only one race at a time, which is time-consuming. Queensland formguides are rudimentary at best. Apart from missing all interstate sectionals (why?) they have adopted a habit long used by the old deFax guide and the current Recorder to insert an ancient run on the track if no current one is relevant. I have yet to find a six months old formline of any use in predicting a dog’s chances.

Clearly, none of the people responsible for these services have bothered to audit the effectiveness of their work or check how they are viewed by the public. Often we hear claims about the number of hits on their website but nothing about how those inspections are put to use. You could go further – the last time a state authority published any information about public or customer views and attitudes was 20 years ago in Queensland when the then-QGRA had a consultant do such a job for them. Are they all working in the dark?

It does seem so. That is exactly the point I made the other day when discussing the attitude of authorities to their customers, and how they define that group of people. The entire industry has always concentrated the vast majority of its resources on trainers and very little on the needs of the people who pay their wages – the customers. More administration than management.

Totes are no better, which is why they still run a ridiculous product – the Duet – which hardly anyone ever buys, other than a few foolish gamblers. Or why they tell lies about First Four dividends. Or why they have destroyed the integrity of betting pools by jamming too many races into an already overcrowded calendar, hoping to drag more cash out of the same old customers (it’s not working).

In total, it’s like a manufacturer supplying its customers with a fancy piece of equipment and no instructions to go with it. Or a cookbook with a recipe containing no information on amounts or how long to cook it. Or running an election with the names of candidates but nothing on which party they belong to or what their policies are. And so it goes on.

Surely somebody must soon realise that these are some of the reasons that racing is losing its edge and why it has experienced negative growth in breeding and betting over the last 20 years. Greyhounds have been an exception for betting as it has been able to stick more four-legged poker machines into the mix, but that fix has now run out of steam. There is no more room left. Where to now?

THE GREAT UNKNOWN

Never mind that the world’s leaders are coming to Australia to discuss what the future holds. Isn’t it about time that greyhound bosses took a serious look at why greyhound racing is struggling to get its act together?

Yesterday’s premium Wentworth Park meeting had not a single reserve to start with, and so ended up with six short fields for what has historically been the code’s biggest betting venue. That’s money down the drain. The Meadows had a few more starters but still had three short fields (with two 725m runners carrying with them false times ex handicap races but no note about what advantage they had or about misleading sectional times). Sandown on Thursday started off with a race full of Novice dogs, masquerading as a Grade 5 event. Albion Park’s main meeting of the week led off with the usual two Novice races and four of ten races short of a full field.

There can be no argument that the industry has over-reached. Too many races, too few dogs. Too many short course dogs, too few stayers. Too many mug gamblers, too few punters. Too many unusable betting pools. Too much secrecy. Too many rip-off products. The list goes on. Rumours are around that someone wants to put some research into better track designs, but I want to see the hard cash first. Meantime, $30 million is being invested into new tracks in Perth and Brisbane, both with obvious design faults before they get started. That’s hardly a good way to attract future customers.

Is anyone minding the shop? A stocktake would be a good way to start a program of reform.

Syd Swain Receives Nine Month Disqualification After Positive Swab

Greyhound Racing NSW Stewards concluded an inquiry on Thursday, 10 July into analyst’s reports that the urine sample taken from Manyana Groper after that greyhound won the Sportingbet Paws Of Thunder Heat (520m), the fourth race of the Wentworth Park meeting on Saturday 11 January 2014, had been analysed and confirmed to contain the prohibited substances methylamphetamine and amphetamine.

Mr. Swain was allowed representation from Mr. Vince Murphy of Lenz Legal. The inquiry was held over three days – 7 May, 12 June and 10 July 2014. Evidence was taken from the greyhound’s trainer, Mr Sydney Swain, and from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) Science Manager, Dr Adam Cawley. Written evidence was tendered from the ARFL, Racing Analytical Services Victoria, Racing NSW Chief Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann and from GRNSW. Mr Swain had also been supplied footage of the kenneling process from the track on the day in question.

During the course of the hearing on 12 June it had been advanced that a possible cause of the laboratory reports was the common usage between trainers of petroleum jelly on the limbs of greyhounds engaged on the night in question. Having regard to the evidence in its entirety, in the opinion of the Stewards, this scenario could not be supported.

Mr Swain subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) in that he presented Manyana Groper for the race in question other than free of any prohibited substances in that the urine sample taken from the greyhound after the race had been found on confirmatory analysis to contain the prohibited substances methylamphetamine and amphetamine.

After considering submissions on penalty Mr Swain was disqualified for a period of nine months. The disqualification concludes at midnight on 11 December 2014, having regard to the period of suspension of Mr Swain’s registration imposed on 13 March 2014 upon confirmation of the findings. In consideration of the particular circumstances in this case the final three months of the disqualification was suspended, conditional on Mr. Swain not being found in breach of the prohibited substance rules over the twelve months concluding 12 December 2015.

In considering penalty under the GRNSW penalty guidelines, factors taken into account included mitigating factors such as Mr. Swain’s guilty plea and the extremely low comparative level of substances detected. His record of having only two minor prohibited substance offences in more than forty years, with the last occurring over 15 years ago, the fact that he is a professional trainer, breeder and rearer with no other source of income, and that there was no evidence of substantial support for the greyhound were also considered. Other mitigating factors considered were the high number of cleared samples taken from Mr. Swain’s greyhounds over his registration history and a number of personal references submitted on behalf of Mr. Swain by leading industry figures.

Notwithstanding these factors, the need for a reasonably harsh penalty in the circumstances of presentation of a greyhound with a Category Two substance present and the effects that such reports have on the image of greyhound racing were also considered.

Under the provisions of GAR 83 (5) Manyana Groper was disqualified from the race in question and the semi-final of the special event conducted on 18 January 2014.

In respect of the race on 11 January the placings were amended to:

1st – Trapper Jet
2nd – Pierino
3rd – Battistuzzi

Manyana Groper was disqualified from its seventh placing on 18 January 2014.

Mr Swain was advised of his rights of appeal.

Cart Before The Horse

It may become part of the folklore of greyhound racing in Australia. The following statement by the appeal judge refers to an incident when a trainer failed to report to stewards an injury to Keybow, then favourite for the final of the Queensland Derby. It was summarised on the Racing Queensland website.

Judge Carter said, ‘’It appears that there exists a very significant level of ignorance about this rule. The records do not contain any precedence of a like case and there are no previous recorded penalties.’’

In the end, the judge replaced a steward’s fine with a warning, implicitly allowing the offender to get away with “ignorance of the law”.

In fact, national rule 75(2) has been there for yonks. And for the gallops, too. The Gai Waterhouse/John Singleton case at Randwick received national publicity over a long period for exactly the same offence. Who could have missed it? That experience alone demonstrates the farcical nature of greyhound administration when the RQ statement calls it just a “rarely used rule”, and notes the “apparent … confusion among many trainers”.

Hello, what confusion? It is surely the first duty of any licensed person to read the rule book, whether training a dog or speeding on the way home. It is plain as a pikestaff anyway.

This column has mentioned the subject several times over the years, and separately written to some state authorities quoting, for example, apparent offences in respect to a Golden Egg winner (Slater) which the trainer later said had been suffering from both injuries and illness, and to a prominent Queensland stayer (Miss Grub) which the trainer retired with words to the effect that he had been trying to patch it up but that was no longer possible. That was a bit late for all the people who had invested many thousands of dollars on it while it was racing poorly.

OK, there is a fine point about the nature and extent of what constitutes a reportable injury. Any athlete in a competitive, physical sport must necessarily suffer knocks and bruises. Where the sport is subject to substantial media coverage – the gallops and football, for example – information provided to the public is normally full and prompt. Yet greyhound racing seems to have allowed itself to go its own way, effectively disregarding the public interest.

Indeed, greyhound stewarding has often been seen to be deficient in respect to failing to chase convictions or form assessment. A recent example was when we pointed out that a steward’s warning to the trainer of Sweet It Is was inaccurate and poorly based. It had won at a long price yet its performance was no better or worse than in its previous runs. The rest of the field had mucked around to allow that to happen.

In an even more recent case, stewards suspended a dog for failing to chase at Shepparton when it jumped moderately, got checked through no fault of its own, and then chased hard all the way home. At the same meeting an experienced dog barely chased for the bulk of the trip yet attracted not even a question. And I would argue both cases till the cows come home (details available if you want them).

All that aside, there is a bad taste in the mouth for two reasons.

First, the underlying implication is that industry culture says that trainers are entitled to keep secret the finer details of their dogs’ condition and also, for example, of private trials. But by doing that they forget that their wages are provided solely by the industry’s customers. Just saying “trust me” is simply not good enough, which is why Rule 75 was put there in the first place. Punters are entitled to the facts.

Second, the extraordinary non-use of the Rule calls to account not only the deficiency of the stewardship function but also the failure of management – ie state racing authorities – to ensure that justice is done and rules are obeyed. If it is not a good rule, get rid of it. If it needs amendment, do so. If it is a good rule, then police it.

In this case the rule is not an optional one but a fundamental requirement for good, clean racing.

Incidentally, it is noteworthy that the chief steward who brought the Keybow case up has had long experience in the galloping code. That tells you something.

BUT THE CART IS RICKETTY

A little more background to the question of the responsibilities of stewards and racing bosses is warranted.

The other day, and not for the first time, an authority was heard to repeatedly classify trainers and other licensed persons as its “customers”. Indeed, I had a lengthy dialogue with one CEO a few years ago on the same subject. (He eventually conceded that both licensed persons and punters were his “customers”).

This is wrong-headed and throws up serious questions as to the ability of boards and CEOs to understand their purpose in life – not just from my viewpoint but from their official brief under their enabling acts of parliament. Invariably, they include as an authority’s prime task the need “to ensure the progress and development of the code” or words to that effect. They also note that the purpose of such authorities, and particularly its stewards, is to look after the interests of the citizens of the state

They do not talk about keeping trainers happy or modifying the product to suit trainers, in fact rather the opposite. That is not to say that trainers should not be handled well and fairly but to put that aim at the top of the list is to put the cart before the horse, or even potentially to harm the industry by applying lopsided policies.

There is only one set of customers and that is the group which buys the product. Everyone else in the industry is there to generate that product, especially trainers. All the rules of racing are there to govern how that is done, not to tell customers what to do.

This divergence may be partly due to the latter-day habit of government departments and instrumentalities being told to treat the people at the counter as “clients”, “customers” – call them what you will. That habit has migrated to racing authorities and so the people on the other side of their counters are being mis-named as customers. The reverse of that coin suggests that those same authorities either don’t know or don’t care much about their real customers.

At best, they have downgraded the importance of the customer group – a conclusion which is supported by the fact that racing has largely left it to betting operators to define and service the industry’s customers.

In other words, racing bosses have lost the plot, and with it sufficient power to control what happens in the industry. Perhaps that helps to explain why trainers are “ignorant of the law”

Brian Barnsley Receives Lengthy Disqualification In The Rouw Investigation

Offence:

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

Report:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Brian Barnsley pleaded guilty to the charge.

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

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

(a) Mr. Barnsley’s guilty plea;

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

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

(d) Prior penalties for similar offences;

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

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

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

ARG Opinion:

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

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

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

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

REPORT:

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

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

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

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

Mr. Leigh Mitchell represented himself.

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

Mr. Leigh Mitchell pleaded not guilty to the charge.

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

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

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

Alfred Vella Disqualified For Heptaminol Positive

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) Stewards have finalised deliberations on possible sanctions following an analyst’s reports of the finding of Heptaminol in the sample taken from Nickel Queen after that greyhound won the seventh race, the Dubbo Racing Boxing Day 4/5th Grade Stakes (400m), at the Dubbo meeting on 19 December 2013.

Consistent with the protocols established for dealing with such reports under the GRNSW Prohibited Substance Penalty System, trainer Mr Alfred Vella was advised of the reports received from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory and Racing Analytical Services Ltd. Victoria, via written notification of the laboratory findings.

Mr Vella had advised GRNSW of the probability of the reports having occurred due to the administration of kynoselen, containing heptaminol, marginally within the recommended withholding period. This admission was consistent with the laboratory reports.

Following alternate correspondence, Mr Vella pleaded guilty to a charge under GAR 83 (2) (a) of having presented Nickel Queen for the event other than free of any prohibited substance, as the urine sample taken from the greyhound after the event was found to contain heptaminol.

After GRNSW had considered submissions from Mr Vella on penalty, he was disqualified for a period to expire at midnight on 17 October 2014. This disqualification has been backdated to 14 June 2014 in recognition of Mr Vella’s voluntary withdrawal from the industry following an initial visit from Stewards in February.

In considering penalty, stewards took into account such factors as this offence being the second such offence in just over two years, with the previous breach also resulting in a period of disqualification, a lack of evidence of any significant support for the greyhound on the day, the nature of the substance involved, the level of the substance reported and previous penalties imposed as a result of such findings, his guilty plea and cooperation with GRNSW in determining the probable source of the reports.

Also considered was Mr Vella’s reasonably high proportion of cleared swabs in a relatively short period of training and also his work in a voluntary capacity at Mudgee.

Notwithstanding those factors, the requirement for a penalty to be imposed in circumstances where a measure of negligence had been identified as a possible factor in the reports had also to be considered.

Under GAR 83 (4), Nickel Queen was disqualified from the event in question and the placings amended to:

1st – Boomtime
2nd – Total Sensation
3rd – Wooden Heart

Mr Vella was advised of his right of appeal.

James Harding Fined $300 For Racing Greyhounds Without A Trainer’s Licence

Racing Queensland (RQ) Stewards today inquired into the reasons why Mr. James Harding nominated and subsequently raced the registered greyhound Nanna Duk at the Ipswich Greyhound Club on five (5) occasions during June 2014 when he was not the holder of a trainer’s licence.

After taking evidence from Mr. Harding, and obtaining documentation from Stipendiary Steward Mr. Cameron Ferguson and licensing officer Ms. Sarah Moffatt, Stewards charged Mr. Harding pursuant to Greyhounds Australasia Rule of Racing 86(l) which reads:

A person (including an official) shall be guilty of an offence if the person, being a person who is not registered with a Controlling Body or an approved Registration Controlling Body as an owner or trainer, acts or holds himself out as the owner or trainer of a greyhound entitled or intended to compete in an Event.

The specifics of the charge being, that Mr. Harding was not registered with Racing Queensland or any other Racing Control Body as the trainer of Nanna Duk when that greyhound raced at the Ipswich Greyhound Club on the following dates:

· 3 June 2014 in Race 3 – The Dinky Di Web Design Maiden Heat 431m,
· 10 June 2014 in Race 3 – The Dinky Di Web Design Mixed Final 431m,
· 17 June 2014 in Race 4 – The Raincat Transport Novice 431m,
· 20 June 2014 in Race 4 – The Big Dog Racing Supplements Novice 431m; and
· 24 June 2014 in Race 4 – The Raincat Transport Novice 431m.

Mr. Harding subsequently pleaded guilty to the charge.

When considering an appropriate penalty, Stewards were mindful of Mr. Harding’s forthright evidence throughout the inquiry, and also took into account mitigating circumstances. Mr. Harding was fined $300.

Under the provisions of Greyhounds Australasia Rule 64(1) Nanna Duk was disqualified from each event specified above, and the placing’s amended accordingly.

Racing Queensland has now implemented new procedures within the OZChase database system to prevent this occurrence from happening again.

Mr. Harding was advised of his appeal rights.

Ken Myers Receives A Three Month Disqualification For Facebook Post

Greyhound Racing SA Stewards opened an inquiry on Tuesday 8 July 2014 into alleged improper, insulting and offensive language that was published on a Facebook site by Mr. Ken Myers in relation to comments made towards GRSA.

Evidence was taken from Mr. Ken Myers.

After taking into consideration all the evidence, stewards were of the opinion that there was sufficient evidence before them to lay the following charge under the rules of greyhound racing.

CHARGE

R86 Offences

A person (including an official) shall be guilty of an offence if the person-

(f) engages in, publishes or causes to be published, broadcasts or causes to be broadcast, the use of any contemptuous, unseemly, improper, insulting, or offensive language, conduct or behaviour in any manner or form towards, or in relation to-

(i) a Steward;
(ii) the committee, or a member of the committee, of a club;
(iii) the Controlling Body, or a member of the Controlling Body; or
(iv) any other person having official duties in relation to greyhound racing:

After pleading guilty to the offence Mr. Ken Myers was disqualified for a period of 3 months.

Such penalty to commence midnight Tuesday 8th July 2014.

Breeding Ban Placed On Victorian Greyhound Participants

Chris Constantinou Report:

Stewards on 2 July 2014 conducted an Inquiry into the keeping of greyhounds at the Devon Meadows property belonging to Mr. Constantinou.

Stewards heard evidence from GRV Member Services Manager Mrs. Kate Williams and licensed trainers Mr. Constantinou and Mr. Hill. Stewards also tendered reports from Adam Evans (GRV – Animal Welfare Compliance and Education Officer).

After considering all the evidence, Stewards acting in accordance with GAR15(3), altered the conditions of Mr. Constantinou’s registration –

– No Further breeding of Greyhound litters
– No Transfer of Greyhound Brood Bitches
– No Transfer of ownership of any Greyhounds by Mr. Constantinou unless approved by GRV Stewards.

These alterations will remain in place pending a further kennel inspection to be conducted on or around 16 August, 2014.

Bradley Hill Report:

Stewards on 2 July 2014 conducted an Inquiry into the keeping of greyhounds at the Devon Meadows property belonging to Mr. Hill.

Stewards heard evidence from licensed trainers Mr. Constantinou and Mr. Hill; Stewards also tendered reports from Adam Evans (GRV – Animal Welfare Compliance and Education Officer).

After considering all the evidence, Stewards acting in accordance with GAR15(3), altered the conditions of Mr. Hill’s registration –

– No Further breeding of Greyhound litters
– No Transfer of Greyhound Brood Bitches
– No Transfer of ownership of any Greyhounds by Mr. Hill unless approved by GRV Stewards.

These alterations will remain in place pending a further kennel inspection to be conducted on or around 16 August, 2014.

ARG View:

Since the announcement of the joint animal welfare strategy by the GRV and GRNSW the topic has been a major focus at the GRV. This decision is further evidence that incidents involving animal welfare won’t be tolerated and for that the GRV are to be commended. It’s a focus that can only help the industry long term.

Coonabarabran Secretary Speaks Out Regarding The Club’s Suspension

GRNSW provided the following media release yesterday in regards to the suspension of the Coonabarabran Coursing Club licence for three months.

The Board of Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) has suspended the licence of the Coonabarabran Coursing Club for three months after it conducted a race meeting in March this year without a veterinarian in attendance.

The suspension will take effect from 7 July 2014 and conclude on 7 October 2014. During the term of the suspension, the Coonabarabran Coursing Club will not be allowed to conduct race meetings or trials.

GRNSW requires race clubs to have a veterinarian present at all race meetings to guarantee the welfare of racing greyhounds.

GRNSW Chairman Eve McGregor said the decision to suspend the Coonabarabran club sent a clear message to the greyhound racing industry that GRNSW will not tolerate anything that puts the welfare of greyhounds in jeopardy.

“The requirement to have a veterinarian present at race meetings is a basic standard imposed on all clubs in NSW and there can be no excuse for such a basic requirement not being met,” Ms McGregor said.

“The Board of GRNSW hopes that the Coonabarabran club understands the seriousness of its breach and take measures to ensure it does not happen again.”

ARG approached club Secretary/Treasurer Merle Clarke for comment and received the following statement.

“The Coonabarabran Committee will be appealing the severity of the penalty issued by GRNSW. Board stewards and club stewards are empowered by GRNSW to be in complete control of meetings. It is unfair to penalise clubs, owners/trainers and sponsors when they had no input into the decision made on the 15th of March.”

“To use our club as GRNSW has done as an example to others in extremely unfair. They have created the assumption and inferred that the club was totally responsible for the decision, which is beyond comprehension.”

“I have received calls from many participants expressing their absolute dismay at this imposed penalty.”

Merle went further to explain that in her 14 years of involvement at the club she was only aware of one GRNSW board member to have ever visited the Coonabarabran track, current GRV CEO Adam Wallish.

This raises an obvious question. In the current environment where animal welfare is paramount, as mentioned in the GRNSW media release above, how can regular track inspections not be on the agenda?

If we are going to see Coonabarabran hammered with a three month suspension for not having a vet on track due to animal welfare concerns, surely the safety of tracks around the state should also be of paramount importance.

Only last week we published a story in regards to the track upgrade at Wagga due to safety concerns. This upgrade was something that the Wagga club had been fighting over fifteen years to achieve. One is left scratching their head at how many tracks in NSW would be unsafe for the dogs racing there. Here we have a track in Coonabarabran that hasn’t been inspected in a long time, surely this is an essential part of fair and safe greyhound racing.

One would think our own Bruce Teague would have a field day with this news.

Nockabout Aussie Appeal Dismissed – What’s Your Verdict?

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

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

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

Mr. Peter Akathiotis represented himself at the RADB hearing.

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

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

ARG’s Opinion:

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

Nockabout Aussie – Box Eight

 

Vision courtesy of grv.org.au

Ian Rilen Receives Suspension And Fine For Threatening GRV CEO

Offence:

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

Report:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jason Goldsworthy Receives Two Year Disqualification For Misconduct

Offence:

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

Report:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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