Day At The Track

Driver guilty of four charges - disqualified 7 years

11:23 AM 28 Oct 2016 NZDT
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Disqualified for seven years
RWWA Harness Racing Stewards today concluded an inquiry with respect to Driver Mr Michael Young in relation to a report received from RWWA Form Analyst, Mr Trevor Styles concerning wagering activity on Race 9 at Albany on 16 January 2016 and the handling of BABY HOUSEMAN NZ in that race.
The matter was the subject of investigations and interviews with several persons prior to the commencement of the Stewards inquiry.
The Stewards inquiry commenced on 29 April 2016 where evidence was taken from Driver Mr M Young, Owner Mr C Edwards and RWWA Form Analyst Mr T Styles. The inquiry was adjourned for the Stewards to consider the evidence presented.
The inquiry resumed on 1 June 2016 where Mr Young was charged with the following three (3) charges;
Charge 1 Harness Rule of Racing 44(1) with the specifics of the charge being that, at Albany on 16 January 2016 in Race 9 on his drive BABY HOUSEMAN NZ Mr Young changed race tactics on the horse by handing up the lead of the field to TELEGRAPH LOVE in the early stages of the event contrary to the way the horse was driven at its last two race starts, without notifying the Stewards prior to the event. This change in tactics being his intention prior to the event.
Charge 1 Harness Rule of Racing 208 with the specifics of the charge being that, prior to Race 9 at Albany over 1828m on 16 January 2016, Mr Young divulged information privately to owner Chris Edwards that as the driver of BABYHOUSEMAN NZ in Race 9 he would most likely hand up and take a sit on TELEGRAPH LOVE, with this done for the purpose of giving Mr Edwards a betting advantage in the race on TELEGRAPH LOVE, a horse tipped to him by Mr Young and in doing so divulged information improperly.
Charge 3 Harness Rules of Racing 243 with the specifics of the charge being that in Race 9 at Albany on 16 January 2016, Mr Young on his drive BABY HOUSEMAN NZ the favourite in the race which was initially leading the field, intentionally handed up the lead of the field to TELEGRAPH LOVE when racing in the back straight on the first occasion and in doing so advantaged TELEGRAPH LOVE’s chances of winning the event. He also failed to drive out BABY HOUSEMAN NZ until roughly the 100 metre mark. This was done to aid his connections, specifically Chris Edwards who had heavily supported TELEGRAPH LOVE. An act which is detrimental to the Industry.
Mr Young requested an adjournment before pleading to the charges. Stewards granted the adjournment and acting under R183(d) suspended Mr Young’s licence pending the outcome of the inquiry.
The inquiry resumed on 31 August 2016 where Mr Young, represented by Senior Counsel pleaded not guilty to all charges. Called to give evidence at this hearing was Trainer Mr G Hall Snr, Driver Mr L Inwood and RWWA Deputy Steward Mr B Sutherland.
At this hearing Mr Young was charged with an additional charge being;
Charge 4 Harness Rules of Racing 91(1)(b) with the particulars of the charge being that, at the Byford training complex on 22 June 2016, Mr Young carried out activities of a licensed person by assisting with the care and control of horses namely by applying and adjusting gear whilst his licence was suspended.
The inquiry was adjourned with the Stewards reserving their decision.
On Friday 22 September, Mr Young was advised that the Stewards had determined to find him guilty of the charges laid. After hearing submissions on the matter of penalty at an inquiry on 18 October 2016 Stewards determined on 26 October 2016 the following;
• Charge 1 - fined $500
• Charge 2 - disqualified three (3) years
• Charge 3 - disqualified four (4) years
• Charge 4 - disqualified six (6) months
In determining penalty Stewards took into account:
• The seriousness of the matter and the need for the penalty to serve as a deterrent.
• Mr Young’s personal circumstances.
• Mr Young’s record and involvement in harness racing.
• Previous penalties issued under similar rules.
That the offences in relation to charges 2 & 3 in particular, struck at the heart of integrity and have significant potential to tarnish the image of harness racing.
The periods of disqualification are to be served concurrently.
As Mr Young has effectively been suspended since 1 June 2016, the four (4) year term of disqualification issued has been back dated to commence on 1 June 2016 and will now expire on 31 May 2020.
By Racingbase Staff in Harness 27 Oct 2016
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