Racing Queensland (RQ) stewards today inquired into the circumstances surrounding the analysts’ findings in respect to a pre-race blood sample taken from GREENMANS VALLEY prior to it competing in race 3, the Tattsbet For All Your Exotics Q1 Pace at Albion Park on the 15 March 2014.
The Queensland Government Racing Science Centre reported a level of Total Carbon Dioxide (TC02) in the blood sample in excess of the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Rules of Racing.
Confirmatory analysis conducted by the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory indicated an elevated level of TC02 but under the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Racing rules.
Today evidence was provided by the trainer Mr. Stuart Hunter, who explained the circumstances and possible explanation for the elevated reading and his feeding and husbandry regime in the days prior to racing. Evidence was also tendered by Dr. Bruce Young on behalf of the Queensland Government Racing Science Centre.
After consideration, Mr Stuart Hunter was charged pursuant to rule 190(1) which reads:
A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances
The specifics of the charge being Mr. Stuart Hunter presented GREENMANS VALLEY to race at Albion Park on the 15 March 2014, when a pre-race blood sample was found upon analysis to contain a prohibited substance, namely TC02 at a level above the prescribed threshold
Mr Hunter was found guilty to the charge.
When assessing the matter of penalty, stewards took into account;
- The nature of the substance concerned
- Previous offences under this rule
- The 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.
Mr. Stuart Hunter was disqualified for 12 months.
Stewards directed under rule 195 that GREENMANS VALLEY be disqualified from its 3rd placing at Albion Park on the 15 March 2014.
All other placegetters were amended accordingly.
Chief Steward (Harness)
Panel: D Farquharson, C McLune, P Zimmermann