Day At The Track

Graham disqualified for 15 months

04:43 PM 26 Aug 2016 NZST
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Darrel Graham
Darrel Graham
Darrel Graham

Queensland Harness Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards today concluded an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the analysts’ findings in respect to a pre race urine sample taken from MAFUTA VAUTIN prior to its winning performance in Race 5 The Qbred Triad Final for 4yo Horses and Geldings at Albion Park on Saturday, 30 May 2015 which had been opened and adjourned on 28 July 2016.

The Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) reported a level of Cobalt in the sample in excess of the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Racing Rules.

On 5 August, licensed trainer Mr Darrel Graham was charged pursuant to Rule 190(1) which reads:

           “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances”

The particulars of the charge being that Mr Graham presented MAFUTA VAUTIN to race in Race 5 at Albion Park on 30 May 2015, when a pre race urine sample taken from that gelding was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance Cobalt above the prescribed threshold.

On 15 August Mr Graham pleaded not guilty to the charge as issued.

Mr Graham today provided further submissions to support his plea of not guilty and consideration was given to these submissions in addition to other relevant cases and character references.          

After due consideration Stewards were of the view that the charge could be sustained and formally found Mr Graham guilty.

When assessing the matter of penalty Stewards gave consideration to the following:

  • The serious nature of the substance concerned and the level of Cobalt recorded (342Ug/L);

  • Mr Graham’s licence history of 30 years and his personal and financial situation;

  • The particular circumstances of the case;

  • The need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to illustrate that drug free racing is of paramount importance to the integrity of harness racing;

  • Penalty precedents.

    Mr Graham was disqualified for a period of 15 months effective immediately.

    Stewards further directed that under Rule 195 MAFUTA VAUTIN be disqualified from its win in Race 5 at Albion Park on 30 May 2015 and all other placegetters be amended accordingly.

    Mr Graham was advised of his rights to internal review.


    Panel: D Farquharson, K Wolsey, N Torpey

    Racing Queensland

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