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On 28 August 2018, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) heard an application for review lodged by licensed trainer-driver Darren Cole regarding a penalty decision of the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on 19 January 2018, in relation to a charge issued against him by the HRV Stewards. On 19 January 2018, Mr Cole pleaded guilty to a charge issued under Australian Harness Racing Rule 190(1) for presenting the horse ‘Exciteusrubycee’ to race at Maryborough on 13 April 2017 when not free of cobalt, a prohibited substance when present at a concentration of greater than 100µg/L. Mr Cole was issued with a 12-month suspension of his licenses. The full HRV RAD Board media release can be found here. On 28 August 2018, VCAT Senior Member Wentworth heard evidence from Veterinary Pharmacologists Professor Paul Mills and Professor Colin Chapman, and Darren Cole himself, along with submissions on behalf of both parties. After considering all the material tendered, Senior Member Wentworth reserved her decision on penalty.   Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) 

On 19 January 2018, the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board determined two charges issued by HRV Stewards against licensed trainer-driver Darren Cole. Charge 1, under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1), which states:      A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances It was alleged that Mr Cole presented the horse ‘Exciteusrubycee’ to race at Maryborough on 13 April 2017 not free of cobalt, a prohibited substance when evidenced at a concentration above the allowable threshold. Charge 2, under AHRR 190B(1), which states:      A trainer shall at all times keep and maintain a log book The particulars of Charge 2 were that Mr Cole was unable to produce a log book when requested to do so by HRV Stewards during a stable inspection on 17 May 2017. Mr Cole entered a plea of guilty to both charges and after hearing submissions on penalty the HRV RAD Board issued the following penalties: Charge 1: 12-month suspension of all licenses (to commence at midnight on 22 January 2018). Charge 2: $250 fine The HRV RAD Board have indicated that they will provide written reasons for the decision in due course. Harness Racing Victoria

Long-time trots participant Ian Stanley wants to publicly thank all who have helped his family after his daughter, Aleisha, was diagnosed with breast cancer. “I’ve witnessed how generous people are firsthand,” Stanley said. “It’s just been amazing the response of all the community and we are very thankful.” Aleisha, 33, was diagnosed with aggressive stage-three breast cancer four months ago and she is currently undergoing chemotherapy every three weeks. The mother of three will then undergo surgery. Her husband, Daniel, will need to take time off from work to help with their three children, daughters Jordan, 12, and Lacey, 4, and son Tyler, just 22 months. To assist Aleisha and her family, who live in Woolsthorpe, 25km from Warrnambool in Victoria’s south-west, the local community and some incredibly generous trots people have dug deep and donated items to be auctioned off for charity. Ian Stanley said he and his wife Mavis wanted to thank all of the people and businesses for their “incredible generosity”, making special mention of Garrards Horse and Hound for donating a Meteor Sulky and Alabar for donating a service to star stallion Grinfromeartoear, both to raise funds for the young family.  Stanley also said that Wheatsheaf Hotel manager, also a local trots trainer, Darren Cole and another local participant in Marg Lee have been “incredibly supportive” and have helped put together a special family day at the Wheatsheaf (96 High St, Terang) on Sunday August 13 from 11am until 5pm, where an enormous amount of goods and services will be auctioned. One of the headline items for the auction is a 2016 official Geelong Football Club jumper, personally hand signed by AFL superstar and reigning Brownlow medallist Patrick Dangerfield. “Just about every business in Warrnambool has donated something. It’s absolutely amazing the generosity of the community,” Stanley said. “… Also just so many others I can't name them all, but Goodtime Lodge and local harness clubs, it’s just a wonderful industry like that and we saw this firsthand. And for people to back up and support young Connor (Clarke) in his battle also, I just want to thank everyone.” A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help Aleisha and her family on their cancer journey. If you are in a position to support the campaign you can access it by clicking here. Details on the Wheatsheaf Hotel fundraiser are also linked to the GoFundMe campaign.   Trots Media

Last night at Tabcorp Park Melton Terang once again proved a town rich in trots horsepower. Harness racing trainer Darren Cole, based in the western Victorian town, produced classy seven-year-old Exciteusinthecity first-up to win the Alabar Captain Sandy Free-for-All over 1720 metres. Rated perfectly by driver Tim McLean, Exciteusinthecity punched through from the pole gate to hold out fast starter Maximan early, withstood a challenge from It Is Billy at the bell and went on to score a gritty win by a metre in a mile rate of 1:55.7. The Metropolitan gelding joins guns such as Lennytheshark (2015) and Smoken Up (2009) on the Captain Sandy FFA honour roll. Not giving much away in his post-race interview, reinsman McLean said leading was the key to unlocking success for the gelding by Metropolitan out of Safely Kept mare Excite. “He loves getting to the front. He fought well to hold them off (tonight),” he said. When asked what was next for the 2014 Casey Classic and Gammalite winner, McLean borrowed a line from an old coaching manual. “We’ll just take it one race at a time.” Exciteusinthecity has now won 20 races, his stakemoney exceeding a quarter of a million dollars. VIDEO: EXCITEUSINTHECITY WINS THE ALABAR CAPTAIN SANDY FFA McLean has piloted the pacer to eight city victories. It Is Billy finished second to Exciteusinthecity, his vocal fan club appreciative of the Michael Barby-trained pacer’s efforts – cheering him hard with a lap to run and giving him another cheer post-race, while Metro Mike ran third. Dalvui Raceway Terang will host a seven-race program on Tuesday night, featuring the running of the 2016 Terang Guineas. McLean will be chasing another feature victory in that race aboard The Big Show, but Im Wrongly Accused from the Terang stable of Matthew Craven, exciting Sebastopol-trained King Of Rocknroll and Group 1 winning local Jilliby Jitterbug – one of five Marg Lee Terang-trained runners on the program – will all draw support from punters. Cody Winnell

Yarragon harness racing trainer Rob Evans had the historians reaching for the record books after his horse Into You led throughout to win at the Warragul Pacing Bowl last Tuesday afternoon. The general feeling was that it had been a few years since Rob's previous winner as a trainer - and a look back at the results showed a lull of over three decades. Rob had last tasted success thirty one years (and four days) before - when his horse Tara Wealth won the Darley Grange Beginners Pace at Warragul on January 15, 1985. Although it has been an extremely long time between drinks for Rob, he has spent much of that time away from the trotting sport. It has only been in the last 18 months that he has returned to training, taking his time with four-year-old pacer Into You, who rewarded his patience with her first win on Tuesday. The lightly raced mare possibly should have won before Tuesday, having turned in a few good minor placings in her short career. An improving type, Into You should win further races, ensuring her trainer won't have to wait too long for his next taste of success. Rob prepares his horse from a training track he constructed on the property of fellow horseman Rob Trickey, across the road from the Yarragon Football Ground. Into You is the first horse to be trained on the relatively new track. The track design skills of Rob Evans have attracted interest among local trotting participants - he is currently constructing a new training track on the property of Drouin West horseman Gary Quinlan, to be built along the lines of the recently redeveloped Warragul Pacing Bowl track. The eight events on Tuesday produced plenty of success for Gippsland trainers. Trafalgar trotter Lazy Sunday claimed an overdue first race win in a division of the Trotters Handicap for the Hunter family. Glenn Hunter took the reins for his brother Brett, the mares owner, and their trainer father Chris. Young Gippsland horseman Matt Cormick also returned to the winners' list when Mor Laag scored its third win from 62 starts in race four. Matt drove numerous winners as a junior reinsman, before taking a break from the sport. He has recently returned to racing and prepared Mor Laag, owned by his grandfather, veteran trainer Des Kelly, to the horse's first victory since July 2014.   Mor Laag had trialled well at Warragul recently in preparation for the seven-year-olds first race since November. Cranbourne trained pacers performed well at the meeting with Rocknroll Gold winning the first race for trainer Michael Hughes, and Fiftyshadesofbrown turning in another honest performance to win a division of the Trotters Handicap for trainer Allan Lousada. Terang horseman Darren Cole made a long trip across to compete - he was impressed with the Warragul facilities and the journey home was a happy one after Spot Ona Shadow won the fifth event. Accountability scored in the Claiming Pace for Bacchus Marsh trainer Denis Grieve and driver Zac Phillips. Drouin West mare Ymbro Toto continued her good run at Warragul with another victory in the last race. The mare won at the previous Warragul meeting in December for owner Danny Ymer and trainer Gary Quinlan. Guests of the Warragul Harness Racing Club on Tuesday included members of the Donvale Tunstall Probus Club. Harness racing at Warragul takes a break now in preparation for the Warragul Cup meeting on Easter Sunday, March 27. Kyle Galley

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