The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RAD Board) today handed down its decision in relation to the penalty to be imposed against New Zealand trainer Mr Geoff Small following a finding that charges issued by HRV Stewards had been proven.
Mr Small had previously been found guilty of two charges under the provisions of Australian Rules of Harness Racing (ARHR) 190 (1) and 196A (1) (ii) for, firstly presenting the horse Zenad NZ to race at the Moonee Valley meeting on 7 February 2009 not free of the prohibited substance aminocaproic acid, and secondly for causing the substance to be administered to the horse.
The decision of the HRV RAD Board is that in respect of each breach of Rule 190 (1) and Rule 196A (1) (ii), Mr Small's licences to train and drive be so suspended for a period of 12 months as and from 1 November 2010, but that 6 months of each such sentence be suspended for a period of 12 months commencing on 1 May 2011.
If Mr Small transgresses with respect to breaches of the Rules relating to prohibited substances in that further period of 12 months, he will be liable to be suspended for a further period of 6 months. It was further ordered by the HRV RAD Board that such penalties be served concurrently.
It was ordered that Zenad NZ be disqualified with respect to Race 1 at the meeting conducted by HRV at Moonee Valley on 7 February 2009 (pursuant to ARHR 195) and that the prize money won by the horse be refunded or returned immediately by connections to HRV (as per ARHR 200). The placings are to be amended accordingly.
The HRV RAD Board denied an application for costs made by Stewards under the circumstances of this proceeding and no such order was made.
In view of the decision of the HRV RAD Board in relation to penalty, HRV Stewards will exercise their rights under the provisions of section 83 OH (2) of the Racing Act 1958 (Vic) and make application to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal (VCAT) for a review of the penalty imposed.