Day At The Track

Investigation follows public scuffle

08:59 AM 07 Apr 2017 NZST
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Racing Integrity Unit
Racing Integrity Unit

The Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) has opened an investigation into a public fight understood to involve greyhound licence holders. Mike Godber, general manager of the RIU, has confirmed there is an investigation into the nasty incident that took place in front of hundreds of people at the Manawatu Harness Racing Club's night meeting in Palmerston North on March 31.

The unsavoury scuffle took place in a public area in front of a sizeable crowd at Manawatu Raceway, mid-way through the last race of the harness meeting.

A greyhound meeting was held at the same venue earlier in the evening.

Police were called to what was described to them as an altercation between a man and woman.

However, the man had already left when they arrived and no arrests were made at the raceway.

Stuff understands at least three licence holders and a former licence holder were involved in the incident.

As part of the investigation, the RIU is interviewing witnesses.

Godber said it was still early in the investigation and the RIU was working to identify all parties involved.

The dual code meeting was part of the Gold Cup festival in Manawatu, with the Group I thoroughbreds meeting held at Awapuni the following day.

Godber said it was too early to speculate on any course of disciplinary action and no further comment would be made until the investigation was completed.

The crowd was one of the best of the season at Palmerston North track which is used for harness and greyhound racing.

Sources have described the actions of the those involved as "disgusting", especially given how hard many people across the three codes have worked to make the Gold Cup festival successful.

Greyhound Racing New Zealand chief executive Phil Holden has been approached for comment.

A security company was on course to control the event and there were no other issues at the meeting.

Mat Kermeen

Reprinted with permission of Stuff

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