Day At The Track

Hefty disqualifications for Mifsud & Walters

03:19 PM 24 Aug 2012 NZST
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On 24 August 2012, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) delivered its decision with regard to penalties to be imposed upon Mr Austin Mifsud and Mr Phillip Walters regarding their respective breaches of Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 190A.

ARHR 190A reads as follows:

(1) When a sample taken at any time from a horse being trained by a licensed trainer has detected in it any prohibited substance specified in sub-rule (2), or metabolites, artifacts or isomers of such prohibited substance, the trainer and any other person who was in charge of such horse at the relevant time may be punished unless he satisfies the stewards that he had taken all proper precautions to prevent the administration of such prohibited substance.

(2) For the purpose of sub-rule (2) the following substances are specified as prohibited substances:-

* Anileridine

* Etorphine

* Dipipanone

* Endorphins

* Human erythropoietin, darbepoetin alfa

* Human insulin, bovine insulin and porcine/canine insulin

* Diacetylmorphine (heroin), cocaine, cannabinoids and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)

* Amphetamines including amphetamine, methylamphetamine

* Methylenedioxyamphetamine and methylenedioxymethamphetamine


With regard to Mr Mifsud, the breach of ARHR 190A related to an out of competition blood sample that was taken from the horse 'Julies Equity' on 14 May 2009. Upon analysis, the sample was found to contain darbepoetin alpha, a substance prohibited at all times in harness racing.

With regard to Mr Walters, the breach of ARHR 190A related to an out of competition blood sample that was taken from the horse 'Second Mortgage' on 31 July 2009. Upon analysis, the sample was found to contain darbepoetin alpha, a substance prohibited at all times in harness racing.

Darbepoetin alpha is a synthetic form of human erythropoietin (EPO).


In announcing the VCAT decision, His Honour Senior Member Nixon highlighted that darbepoetin alpha is one of the most serious of prohibited substances that could be found within the harness racing industry. His Honour Senior Member Nixon re-affirmed the decision of the HRV RAD Board to impose the following penalties:

Mr Austin Mifsud - 4 year period of disqualification

Mr Phillip Walters - 3 year and 6 month period of disqualification

Taking into account ‘time served’, His Honour Senior Member Nixon ordered Mr Mifsud’s disqualification period to expire on 22 September 2015 and Mr Walters’ disqualification period to expire on 22 March 2015. 

Meanwhile action from Tabcorp Park Melton - Friday.

Portland's Gloria Council (Bourke) who received such a tremendous thrill when her 4-Y-0 gelding Australian Bite broke through for his first success at Terang on August 15, received a much bigger one at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday, when the son of Jet Laag and Ella Jane snared the $10,000 Final of the Vicbred Platinum Country Series B Final for C0 class over 2240 metres in a rate of 2-00.7.

With Chris Alford in the sulky, Australian Bite from gate two on the second line possied four back in the moving line, with the pole marker Cobargo Jack easily holding the lead from the pole.

Moving three wide racing for the bell, Australian Bite had to do it alone for the final circuit but was equal to the task, racing clear over the concluding stages to score from Cobargo Jack and Shakas Image which followed the winner home.

Trained by Gloria, Australian Bite has fronted the starter on 19 occasions.

It was David Aiken adding another winner to his season’s tally at Tabcorp Park Melton, when 8-Y-0 Sundon/Ashley Blossom gelding Don King first up since October last year, scored in the Cavalier Homes Trotters Handicap for TMO or better class (D-H) over 2760 metres.

Driven by Scott Dyer, Don King coming from a daunting 40 metre backmark remained at the tail of the field for most of the race, with Just A Cracker leading for Lance Justice.

Making the final bend very wide, Don King unleashed a brilliant finish to blouse Backas Cobber which had dashed away on straightening, to register a 3.3 metre margin on the wire in 2-06.4, with Crescent Glory third after an early break.

Raced by Brendan James’ BFJ Bloodstock Trust along with wife Anne, Don King has raced only 37 times for 19 wins.

Maree and John Caldow were successful with Breeders Crown victor Miss Moonlite in the Vermont Panels Pace for M0 & M1 (mares) over 2240 at Melton.

Now in the care of the Caldow’s, Miss Moonlite (Christian Cullen/Dancingonmoonlight) led for the greater portion of the journey in defeating Nicola Jaccka which trailed and Lady Pentose in a rate of 1-58.4

Australian Bite

Don King

Miss Moonlite

by Len BAKER

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