Racing Victoria has been having meetings with thoroughbred trainers throughout the state to canvass their views on a proposal to implement lifetime bans for trainers found guilty of adminstering prohibited drugs to horses they train. The proposal first surfaced in a report produced by the Irish Thoroughbred Anti Doping Task Force “Illegal performance-enhancing drugs have no place in the Irish racing and breeding industries,” the task force said in a statement. “In particular, the task force supports the position of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities that the use of anabolic steroids should not be permitted in or out of competition.’’ RV chief steward Terry Bailey said on Friday he had read the report and he would table it for discussion at the next dug strategy meeting. He said he was waiting for an opinion from Racing Victoria vets before taking the matter further. "That should give us a better idea wether this is something that should be considered here,” Bailey said. “It would certainly put the responsibility on the owners to choose their trainers carefully.” Terry Bailey is very supportive of a proposal by Cranbourne trainer Mick Kent for the cobalt and bicarbonate levels of every horse in training to be published on an industry website. Harness racing authorities in New South Wales have been publishing lists of cobalt and bicarbonate levels recorded by horses for the past two years and Kent says it would name and shame trainers who are cheating. Bailey is being accompanied at the consultation meetings by RV chief executive Bernard Saundry, chief vet Brian Stewart and racing manager Greg Carpenter. Harnesslink Media
The prevailing view is that cheating in sport is more commonplace and more egregious now than ever before. Cheating in sport comes in two basic forms — doping and match or spot fixing. The former relies on the scenario where the alchemists will always be one step ahead of the chemists, where those who use illicit performance enhancing drugs will beat the overseers and continue to compete under an unfair advantage. In this year’s Olympics in Rio, the Russian track and field team will almost certainly have to sit it out in the bleachers after the Russian governing body accepted an indefinite ban from competition after the alleged cover-up of positive doping tests. The Kenyans, the doyens of long distance running, are under a cloud of suspicion. Yet for all the headlines, one could mount a sound argument that doping in sport had reached its acme almost thirty years ago and the introduction of the WADA Code in 2004 combined with more effective policing and pro secution of athletes taking banned substances is leading to what we all hope for when we watch sport — a level playing field. That is not to say professional sport in terms of doping is clean but it is cleaner than it was. Last month UK Athletics called for world track and field records to be reset because of the great suspicion that surrounds those that sit on the books now. Take women’s track and field events. From the 1500m down all records were set in the 1980s and 90s with the exception of one event, the 400m hurdles. There are a number of world records in women’s track and field events that are clearly not legitimate. The record for the women’s discus throw was set in 1988 by East German athlete, Gabriele Reinsch with a throw of 76.80 metres. Not one female thrower has broken 70 metres this century. American sprinter, Florence Griffith-Joyner, still holds the 100m and 200m sprint records, both obtained in 1988 — the latter set at the Seoul Olympics, the so-called ‘Dirty Games’. Griffith-Joyner maintained she never took drugs but the dramatic changes to her physique told a different tale. She retired from competition after the Seoul Games. Random drug testing of IAAF athletes commenced the following year. She died in 1998 aged 38. East German athlete, Marita Koch broke the 400m world record at the World Championships in Canberra in 1985 with a time of 47.60 seconds. Her recorded 100 and 200 metre splits of 11.3 and 22.4 seconds would have qualified her for the women’s 100m and 200m sprints at the 2012 Olympics in London. One of the great ironies of communist East Germany’s State Plan 14.25 — a program designed to shovel performance enhancing drugs into their athletes, is you couldn’t run Koch’s time driving around in a Trabant then or now. These records need to stand both as a testament to cheating and as a marker for questionable achievement in future. Doping may be on the decline while the pernicious effects of match and spot fixing are clearly still with us. Match fixing is pervasive and difficult to police by nature. Last night the ABC’s Four Corners program ran an exposé on match and spot fixing on the professional tennis circuit. The show made some claims about tennis players on the fringes of the ITP circuit without naming many but went on to uncover what stands as the biggest threat to the integrity of professional sport — unregulated betting agencies taking millions of dollars in bets on sporting events around the world. The Australian has been reporting on some questionable matches, including one played at the Australian Open less than a fortnight ago. Not only do these illicit betting agencies refuse to co-operate with authorities, they engage in money laundering with organised criminal syndicates. For many years gambling has been used as a means of laundering money, taking the black money from various criminal activities and washing it clean through a bookmaker. It was a rule of thumb that if $60 came back clean from a $100 of dirty money wagered, that was a decent outcome for those involved. Forty years ago, greyhound racing was literally awash with black money. Harness racing faced a similar problem in the 1980s. Legal casinos now face the problem everyday and are inclined to take the gambler’s money without caring much about where the dough has come from. Indeed it was said of harness racing that when Australia’s king of race fixing, George Freeman was about, there wasn’t a trotting meet anywhere in the country where one or more race on the card was bent. The important lesson here is that level of contrivance and cheating effectively destroyed what integrity harness racing may have had. Legitimate punters simply walked away from the sport. Harness racing has never recovered. The online unregulated bookmakers offer a similar service to that which Freeman enjoyed in the 1970s and 80s; the opportunity not just of washing money and obtaining a smaller return but where crime groups are able to predetermine the outcome of a sporting event, they not only come away with clean money but more of it. In practical terms there is little Australian authorities can do about online unregulated bookmakers who run off shore, often out of hotel rooms with a handful of laptops and a bank of plasma screen TVs. The best option is to co-operate and share information with other jurisdictions and hope for the broad sweep of US federal investigators to move in. Even then it’s like playing a game of whack-a-mole. But the rules are the same as they were in Freeman’s day. If a sport loses its integrity through match fixing or widespread doping, spectators and television audiences simply move on. We have the template for this via one of the world’s most lucrative sports, Major-league Baseball. The problems can be traced back to the players’ strike of 1994-95. It was only when the dispute was resolved that the governing body, MLB, believed the industrial landscape was too fraught to consider implementing an anti-doping policy. An anti-doping policy had not been in place in the MLB since 1985. And so it became open slather on doping. Big hitters became bigger hitters. For a brief moment, the US was gripped with a fascinating dual over a number of seasons between Mark McGwire at the St Louis Cardinals and Barry Bonds at the San Francisco Giants tonking the ball out of the park on a regular basis. McGwire broke the season home run record in 1998 with 70 home runs. Three years later Bonds smashed it with 73. Both men were juiced up on steroids. In 2004, the MLB agreed to a moratorium on drug testing. In that season players in the major and minor leagues were tested but no punishments were applied. Results from that period reveal seven per cent of players were using steroids and an astonishing 78 per cent were using some type of banned substance. To this day the National Baseball Hall of Fame has chosen to avoid handing hall of fame status to players from that period. Most importantly, attendances at games went into a deep trough and television audiences shrank. People knew they were being conned and wouldn’t have a bar of it. This is the soundest argument you can make for the WADA code and the tough policing of doping in professional sport and why the match fixers need to be sent packing. The salutary lesson for all sports administrators is if you build it they will come but if you degrade and debase it, they will turn away. By Jack The Insider Reprinted with permission of The Australian
At its meeting of December 18, 2015, the Board of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) approved the revision to Penalty Guidelines for Equine Drug, TCO2, and Non-Therapeutic Drug Offences. To view the Guidelines click here.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (January 30, 2016) - As a result of its out-of-competition testing program, the Meadowlands Racetrack announces the positive test of a horse trained by Robert Bresnahan, Junior. Tag Up and Go, a six-year-old trotter, returned a positive test for the performance-enhancing substance, epogen, more commonly known as EPO. The blood samples were taken from two horses at Mr. Bresnahan's barn at Gaitway Farm on December 8. The samples were sent to the world-renowned Hong Kong Racing Laboratory, among the world leaders in research on equine drug testing. The positive test result was returned to Meadowlands officials in late January, the delay caused by testing officials being away on vacation during the holiday season. Mr. Bresnahan has subsequently been placed on the track's exclusion list and will be unable to participate at the Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. Bresnahan is entitled to ask for a split sample test; however, the Hong Kong Racing Laboratory has not reported any "false positives" in any official samples in its 46-year history. "None of the horses currently being trained by Bresnahan will be able to participate at our properties for 60 days," said Meadowlands Chairman Jeffrey Gural. "We will continue our efforts to create a level playing field and ensure that horses racing here at the Meadowlands are not racing with illegal medication or performance-enhancing substances. I believe our out-of-competition testing is helping to accomplish that goal." Justin Horowitz
QUEENSLAND racing’s long- running cobalt scandal is set to resume next month with four harness racing trainers and at least one thoroughbred trainer set to face stewards inquiries over positive tests. Racing Queensland’s chief harness racing steward David Farquharson confirmed Darrel Graham, Darren Weeks, Paul McGregor and Neale Scott will all face inquiries next month after horses in their care returned positives to cobalt last year. Thoroughbred trainer Lynn Paton has also been informed she is likely to face an inquiry next month but Toowoomba trainer Rochelle Smith is yet to be notified of any progression with her case. Movement on most of the cases comes after months of no action as Racing Queensland waited on legal advice before progressing with the cases. Farquharson said yesterday Racing Queensland were now comfortable with proceeding with the cases. “There was just some issues in regards to the Racing Act and also the way that we test samples and the way we do things,” Farquharson said. “We’ve been mindful of that and we’ve worked through all those issues so that doesn’t occur again. We are very confident now progressing forward with these cobalts that we are complying with the rules.” A host of Queensland thoroughbred and harness trainers had bans overturned last year due to a legal loophole in the Racing Act. By Brad Davidson Reprinted with permission of the Gold Coast Bulletin
Harness Racing South Australia Stewards finalised an inquiry into a report received from Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) that a post race urine sample taken from SILVER RANGER after Race 4, the Hygain Horse Products Claiming Pace at Globe Derby on 23 November 2015, upon analysis contained arsenic greater than the 0.30 micrograms per millilitre threshold. The ‘B’ sample was sent to the Racing Science Centre in Queensland which confirmed the presence of arsenic above the threshold. Evidence was taken from trainer Andrew Kearney regarding his feeding regime and husbandry practices. Mr. Kearney pleaded guilty to a charge under Rule 190(1), (2) & (4) that as the licenced trainer of SILVER RANGER he did present that horse to race at Globe Derby on 23 November 2015 when not free of a prohibited substance. In determining penalty stewards took into account the nature of the substance, his guilty plea, his 11 year history as a trainer and his record which contained two previous offences for prohibited substances. Mr. Kearney had his trainer licence suspended for 9 months backdated to 6 January 2016, the date he was stood down. Under Rule 195, SILVER RANGER was disqualified from its first placing and all placings amended accordingly. by Barbara Scott, Chair of Stewards
In the last 3 months Harness Racing Victoria has tested a number of harness racing participants (trainers and drivers) where unfortunately three participants have tested positive to amphetamine. One of those matters has been dealt with and the other two are pending future RAD Board Hearings. Harness Racing Victoria would like to work with all harness racing participants to seek appropriate support and treatment for them to engage with relevant agencies if they have issues in relation to the use of amphetamines or other drugs of abuse. Harness Racing Victoria will increase the number of human samples to be taken of harness racing participants in 2016 than the previous year to ensure greater compliance of drivers and trainers and to ensure that the sport of harness racing is as safe as possible on the race track. It is in the best interests for the sport of harness racing, that all harness racing drivers are not alcohol or drug affected whilst engaged in a race or trial. Harness Racing Victoria would encourage any harness racing participant whom may have an issue with alcohol or drugs to seek appropriate treatment and guidance and Harness Racing Victoria can be contacted on 03 8378 0287 in relation to this and all matters are treated confidentially. Harness Racing Victoria General Amphetamine Street Names Knowing the common street names for the different amphetamines drugs is important. Because there are so many different types of these drugs, many individuals take substances they do not know as a result. Being able to recognize the slang terms can help protect you from dangerous drug abuse and other issues. It could also allow you to help someone in need by knowing what they have taken. Be aware of the street names listed below as they are some of the most common. According to CESAR, “Medications containing amphetamines are prescribed for narcolepsy, obesity, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.” However, when someone takes one of these pills without a valid prescription or abuses them just to get high, it is a very dangerous practice that can lead to severe mood swings, insomnia, tremors, and when taken in very high doses even heart attack and stroke. When sold on the street, these drugs are often referred to as: Uppers Speed Pep pills Lid poppers Eye-openers Wake-ups If any of these street names are being used to describe a drug in question, it is most certainly an amphetamine of some type. Dextroamphetamine Medications that contain only dextroamphetamine have specific street names which you may hear but not initially recognize. Many of the general terms for amphetamines are clear about the stimulant effects, but dextroamphetamine which causes many of these same issues may be referred to as White crosses Dexedrine, a brand version of dextroamphetamine, is named for the white lines that appear on the pill in order to make it easier to split into quarters Dexies Another name for Dexedrine Methamphetamine Methamphetamine can be a prescription drug, but more often, it is abused in its pure form which is similar to a crystal-like rock. In many cases, if an individual uses one of the names above, they are likely referring to its the prescription pill form. However, if a person calls the drug: Glass Ice Crystal Chalk Meth it is probably this more potent version. According to the NLM, “Meth use can quickly lead to addiction.” Because illicit methamphetamine is smoked, it will reach the brain much more quickly and cause the individual to feel a stronger desire to abuse more of the drug. Understanding the difference is key to avoiding even more dangerous drug abuse. Combination Street Names There are some slang terms which refer to the combination of amphetamines and different drugs. These can be incredibly dangerous because of the joint effects of the two drugs. For example, goofballs are amphetamines and barbiturates that have been mixed together. According to a study from the NCBI, “The mixture produced a pattern of effects which was different from that produced by either drug separately.” Another similar-sounding combination called speedballs contains heroin and methamphetamine, both extremely potent, addictive, and harmful drugs. It is very important to understand the difference between the two combinations as one may be much more dangerous than the other. Knowing the different street names for amphetamines can help you stay aware of what drugs you are dealing with. You can also more readily help someone else in an overdose situation if you know what they have taken.
Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) Stewards concluded an Inquiry yesterday into a report received from the Australian Government National Measurement Institute that Cobalt above the threshold was detected in a post race urine sample taken from MISTER BELLISIMO following its win in race 6, the CONWAY PRINTERS ENCOURAGEMENT STAKES (1770 metres) conducted at Albury on 10 July 2015. The “B” sample and associated control sample were confirmed by the ChemCentre in Western Australia. Ms Mary-Jane Mifsud pleaded guilty to a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 190 (1), (2) and (4) in that she did present MISTER BELLISIMO to race at Albury on 10 July 2015, not free of a prohibited substance. Ms Mifsud was disqualified for a period of 7 years 6 months in respect of the charge under Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) to commence from 6 October 2015, the date upon which she was stood down. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following; This was Ms Mifsud’s 2nd offence for Rule 190 breaches, That Cobalt is deemed a Class 1 substance under the HRNSW Penalty Guidelines, The level recorded being 260 ug/L Ms Mifsud’s guilty plea, licence history and other personal subjective facts. Ms Mifsud was informed of her right to appeal this decision. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, MISTER BELLISIMO was disqualified from the abovementioned race. Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 31 racing clubs across the State. HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government. Reid Sanders
RWWA Stewards were advised by the ChemCentre in Perth on 30 November 2015, that cobalt at a concentration in excess of 200 micrograms per litre, being the threshold prescribed in the Harness Rules of Racing (HRR), has been detected in a urine sample taken from ANOTHER VINNIE at Gloucester Park on 30 October 2015 after it had competed in and won Race 7. This finding has been verified by the Racing Analytical Services Laboratory (RASL). Upon notification of this irregularity by the ChemCentre, Stewards directed pursuant the Rules of Racing that all horses trained by Mr Coulson be withdrawn and barred from racing until such time as the investigations and inquiry are completed, unless otherwise directed by the Stewards. Further acting under Harness Rule 183 (d) the Stewards also directed that all licences held by Mr Coulson with RWWA be suspended forthwith pending the outcome of the Stewards inquiry. As part of investigations, Stewards have directed that the ChemCentre undertake further screening in relation to this substance from other available samples taken from Mr Coulson’s horses. The ChemCentre has now reported further irregularities in relation to cobalt from the following samples so analysed: 11th July 2015: NOT SMALL - Bunbury Race 2 24th July 2015: ANOTHER VINNIE - Gloucester Park Race 7 1st August 2015: ANOTHER VINNIE - Bunbury Race 6 The respective referee and control samples have been dispatched to the Racing Analytical Services Ltd (Vic) for analysis, following which a date and time for the Stewards inquiry in relation to these matters will be confirmed. RWWA Stewards Enquiry
Ryal Bush harness racing horseman Shane Walkinshaw would love to turn the page and put the last few months behind him but at the moment he is stuck in limbo as the wheels of justice turn incredibly slowly. Ever since he got a knock on the door from Barry Kitto, the racecourse inspector that the five year old Julius Caesar gelding he trains, Not Bad had returned a very large positive to Cobalt, Shane has been under the spotlight for being the first New Zealand harness racing trainer to be charged with the use of Cobalt. At first Shane thought it must be an error with the testing or the samples but it quickly became apparent to him that the results were correct and worse still they had come from Not Bad. Shane is known for not having a vet to his small team unless it is absolutely essential and for keeping impeccable records and when Barry Kitto inspected the stables he remarked to Shane that it was one of the most compliant stables they had ever inspected. Shane knew he hadn't done anything wrong so he set out to prove to the Racing Integrity Unit that he was innocent of any deliberate administration. It wasn't long before Shane came across the culprit for the massive cobalt highs that his horses were returning. The one additive that Shane regularly gave his horses who were in work was a blood sachet. " I had brought them off Farmlands for years but when I went in in September they were temporarily out of stock but suggested a blood booster they had there would do the same job." "It was the Equin Blood Booster made by McMillians and after talking to them at length, it seemed perfect for what I wanted." " The label said there was a small amount of Cobalt in the product but it was well within the 200 limit and there was no with holding time on its use according to the label." " To make matters worse Not Bad was one of those rare horses that had a high Cobalt reading even when he was out of work." " They tested him and his resting level was 85 which took the RIU back a bit." "I sent away two samples of the product away to be tested to different laboratories and the RIU sent one away to be tested." " One of my samples came back 355 times over the legal limit while the RIU sample was 190 times over the legal Cobalt limit." "Once I had those results, I thought the RIU in conjunction with Harness Racing New Zealand would publicise the fact that the blood booster was potentially a major problem as I was aware that there were other trainers who had brought the product but todate there has been a deathly silence," Shane said. As for any progress on his case, Shane has heard nothing from the RIU about a possible hearing date. " It is just dragging on and on and the longer it does that, the more damage it is doing to my reputation." " I want the facts out there so people can see that see that I didn't give Cobalt to my horses deliberately," Shane said. The delay seems hard to justify at this point with all parties agreed on the facts of the case. The case should be dealt with urgently and it is time for the RIU and the JCA to get on with it. Harnesslink Media
Courtesy of last week’s dramatic cobalt hearing in Australia before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board, a grotesque portrait now exists of handsome young horse vet Adam Matthews. That portrait might either be an accurate depiction or a portrait of convenience as drawn by his ex-colleague Tom Brennan, who portrayed Matthews as a deeply troubled renegade, a pathological liar and a gambling addict whose cobalt concoctions have already caused chaos and will soon cause more. It is likely the board will on Friday find Mark Kavanagh, Danny O’Brien and Brennan guilty of administering a prohibited substance, cobalt, to horses trained by Kavanagh and O’Brien. The trio will learn their fate, years on the sidelines if found guilty, in coming days. Final submissions are on Friday. Brennan’s evidence to the board was that Matthews, a former burly country footballer, mate and semi-trusted colleague at the Flemington Equine Clinic, was running his own race. Matthews denies Brennan’s allegations, calling him a “liar and unreliable witness.’’ Brennan says Matthews, whom he once “loved like a brother’’ was the architect and that he, O’Brien and Kavanagh are hapless victims who used Matthews’ “vitamin complex’’ under assurance it was “sweet”. Brennan told the board of Matthews’ alleged underworld connections via the harness racing industry, his peddling of potions Matthews had claimed were full of vitamins sourced from “Canada” and his spiralling mental state and betting fortunes. To read the full article written by Matt Stewart on this intriguing case in The Herald Sun this morning just click here
Harness Racing South Australia Stewards finalised an inquiry that was opened on 30 July 2015 into a report from Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) that a blood sample taken from SIR ROBERTY BOB at Globe Derby on 25 July 2015 prior to it competing in Race 6, returned on initial screening an elevated total carbon dioxide (TCO2) concentration of 36.9 millimoles per litre. RASL conducted further testing on this pre-race blood sample and reported a TCO2 level of 36 for the ‘A’ sample and 36.5 for the ‘B’ sample. On 20 August 2015 and 24 August 2015 non-raceday blood samples were taken from SIR ROBERTY BOB with RASL reporting TCO2 levels of 33.4 and 31.1 respectively. On 29 August 2015 a pre-race blood sample was taken from SIR ROBERTY BOB prior to it racing at Globe Derby. RASL reported the TCO2 level to be 31.9. The inquiry resumed on 24 September 2015 and evidence was taken from trainer Rick Frearson regarding his feeding and husbandry practices together with details of his movements on 25 July 2015. Evidence was also taken from Veterinarian Dr. Roger Haensel which included that for a horse to return a TCO2 level of 36.9, 36 and 36.5, in his opinion, it would have received alkalising agents on raceday. Stewards submitted into evidence the pre-race TCO2 levels of SIR ROBERTY BOB dating back to 2010, the pre-race TCO2 levels of other horses currently in Rick Frearsons care and the average TCO2 levels of all horses tested in SA over the past 3 seasons, that being 30.99. On 20 October 2015 the inquiry resumed and Rick Frearson was charged under Rule 193(3) which states: A person shall not administer or allow or cause to be administered any medication to a horse on race day prior to such horse running in a race. Stewards were mindful of Rule 193(6) which states: for the purposes of this rule medication means any treatment with drugs or other substances. The particulars being that Rick Frearson, as the trainer of SIR ROBERTY BOB has allowed or caused that horse to be administered a medication on raceday prior to the horse running in a race. Stewards are of the opinion that a trainer has an obligation under the rules to ensure his horses are safeguarded on raceday and he should take steps to prevent unauthorised administration on raceday and the days leading up to raceday. In determining penalty stewards took into account Rick Frearson’s personal circumstances, his record as a trainer which included a previous offence for prohibited substances and his not guilty plea. Rick Frearson had his trainers licence suspended for 6 months. Acting under Rule 193(5), stewards ordered that SIR ROBERTY BOB be disqualified from Race 6 at Globe Derby on 25 July 2015 and the placegetters be amended accordingly. by Barbara Scott, Chair of Stewards
As racing steward Terry Bailey stumbled on to his nature strip, clutching a tribal carving for defence seconds after gunfire peppered his suburban family home, he confronted two new realities. His world as sheriff of the track had changed forever: criminal elements had taken the fight straight to his doorstep only days before the Melbourne Cup. His second thought provided little comfort: the shooter could be anyone among a bulging Rolodex of enemies the 48-year-old chief steward had accumulated during a meteoric rise from Rockhampton racetrack to the hallowed turf of Flemington. Among the beaming celebrities and corporate suits in the luxurious marquees of the Birdcage from today, the party will barely miss a beat: DJs, champagne, fashion and some stunning feats of equine athleticism. But the racing industry — and its top cop — have been blasted into a new and terrifying era. Bailey speaks with a slow, nasal drawl that betrays his humble origins as the son of a cop who grew up in the backblocks of Queensland and NSW. But, up close, his eyes twinkle with a raw intelligence that smart folk quickly detect. John “The Sheriff” Schreck, perhaps the most famous steward in Australian turf history, saw that glimmer in Bailey’s eye and plucked him from obscurity at Rockhampton and put him on the path to the big league. “I first met him when he was still at school and he was working as a gofer on the track at Rockhampton — all he ever wanted to do was be involved in the administration of racing,’’ he tells The Weekend Australian in his first extended interview since the shooting. “His work ethic was quite outstanding and his common sense.” Today the stakes are astronomically higher, the villains smarter and far more ruthless, but Bailey hasn’t lost his laconic bush sense of humour. “I don’t have any other interests in life so, I presume, this is the common denominator,’’ he said the morning after an unknown enemy had pumped six rounds from a semi-automatic weapon into the front door of his suburban Melbourne house. “If they want to find you, they’ll find you.” Now, as the $16 billion racing industry begins its biggest week of the year, with the eyes of the racing world fixed on Melbourne, he and his family (a wife and two teen daughters he “idolises”) are living out of a safe house with a security detail attached to them 24/7. The attack was written up this week as the moment that racing lost its innocence, a description that didn’t pass the laugh test even for those who love the so-called sport of kings. “Don’t they remember (gangster) Tony Mokbel betting up a storm? Or (a certain jockey) taking bungs? Or the Smoking Aces (race-fixing) case? Or the cobalt scandal,’’ one world-weary racing fan mused. But Bailey’s mentor Schreck, who was the Australian Jockey Club’s chief steward for 15 years and did stints in senior roles in Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau, believes the attack on his friend and protege marks a significant new low and racing needs to recognise it. “It’s a bloody awful thing and it’s done untold damage to horse racing in this country,’’ he said. “He (Bailey) would be terribly disturbed about it and worried for his family. In the future, when Terry Bailey moves back home I would expect he will have CCTV throughout the house. I never thought I would see those days. It’s just gangster stuff, isn’t it?” Gunshots flying into the home of the industry’s top cop is undoubtedly a new low, but villains have always lurked in the shadows of horse racing. There was the Fine Cotton scandal in the 1980s, George Freeman roaming Sydney tracks before that — the links even go back to the days of John Wren, depicted in Frank Hardy’s Power Without Glory. In more recent times, there has also been the unsolved execution-style murder of horse trainer Les Samba, gunned down on a Melbourne street in 2011. The jailed drug lord Tony Mokbel was a horse owner and reputedly still punts from his maximum-security prison, having led the so-called Tracksuit Gang in the 1980s and 90s, trading words and tips at racecourses across Australia. His brother Horty Mokbel was banned from tracks in 2004. Mick Gatto, who shot dead gangland killer Andrew “Benji’’ Veniamin more than a decade ago but beat a murder charge, is also now banned from racetracks and Crown casino. Carl Williams, the murderer who was killed in jail, was at the epicentre of Melbourne’s gangland war. He loved a punt as well. As did Alphonse Gangitano, once the public but violent face of the Carlton Crew. His interest in horse racing and protection rackets ended with his death in 1998 at the hands of — police believe — Jason Moran. The Morans had close links with racing and Jason Moran was accused of triggering the underworld war that killed dozens. He, too, is no longer with us. Beyond the glittering success of the Flemington carnival, racing has for years been locked in a struggle to expel criminal elements, with Bailey at the vanguard. Pretty much ever since he was lured from the Gold Coast to clean up harness racing in Victoria, he has had a tiger by the tail. Bailey soon unearthed a race-fixing scandal involving the use of a drug known as Blue Magic. In a move that foreshadowed his aggressive style, he liaised closely with police and used covert surveillance to build a case that culminated in raids in Australia and New Zealand that would smash a crime syndicate. He parlayed that success into a shift into thoroughbreds — the main game — where he became one of the youngest chief stewards in Victorian history, replacing stalwart Des Gleeson. As Bailey drove a more aggressive enforcement culture, that Rolodex of enemies continued to grow. His detractors accuse him of the law enforcement equivalent of “managing up” — kicking the shit out of industry participants to garner publicity and to further his own career. He tangled with talented but troubled jockey Danny Nikolic, pursuing the hoop unsuccessfully over the so-called Betfair scandal and then the Smoking Aces race-fixing probe. Nikolic was cleared on both, but it was the start of a bloody war of attrition between the steward and jockey that would ultimately see Bailey get his man following a clash outside the steward’s tower in which Nikolic is alleged to have said: “We’ve all got families, c---, and we know where yours live ...” Nikolic, who was banned for two years, denied making the comment and was not commenting on this week’s incident. Bailey has been unrelenting in driving higher integrity standards, pushing for covert surveillance of stables and demanding trainers give his officials keys to their stable doors and even seeking to implant a spy in one stable. He found himself at the centre of the most high-profile drug case in the sport’s recent history when big-name trainers Peter Moody, Mark Kavanagh and Danny O’Brien were charged over positive swabs for cobalt returned by horses in their care. The cases continue to grind on, further damaging the sport’s image as ever darker secrets emerge, such as the reported links between a vet involved in supplying cobalt and organised criminals with ties to the harness racing world. It is true that racing has taken big strides towards a far more ruthless enforcement culture, introducing tough drug standards and investing in testing laboratories that keep officials close on the heels of biochemists. Victoria’s Racing Integrity Commissioner, Sal Perna, says on top of sophisticated race-day betting analysis teams, racing now has its own compliance and audit squads. “These are guys who are jumping the fences of trainers’ properties and checking the stables and drug testing,’’ he said. “Integrity has become much (more) important. Racing’s success is based on public confidence. If the public don’t have confidence in integrity, they won’t bet, then there’s less money coming in.” Racing Australia chief executive Peter McGauran says the brazen gun attack is a wake-up call for the federal government, which must let the industry’s integrity bodies have better access to phone call and intercept data to protect the sport from organised crime. “If there are criminal elements capable of that here you can only imagine what those associated with illegal Asian bookmaking are capable of,” he said. Racing commentator Richard Freedman, the brother of Melbourne Cup winning trainers Lee and Anthony Freedman, says the attack on Bailey comes at a bad time for the sport but he doesn’t believe it will have a lasting negative effect. “I don’t want to sound blase about what happened to Terry because it’s appalling, but you have to take the long view — in the long term, the sport will be better.” Freedman agrees that racing is suffering from “the Tour de France syndrome”. “If you attempt to tackle cheats in your sport, you will expose yourself to claims your sport is full of cheats, because you will find them,’’ he said. By Rick Wallace Reprinted with permission of The Australian.com.au site
Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) yesterday conducted an inquiry into a report received from the Australian Government National Measurement Institute that Cobalt above the threshold was detected in a post race urine sample taken from MARION KEISKER NZ following its win in race 3, the ARTHUR J GALLAGHER PACE (1720 metres) conducted at Dubbo on 17 May 2015. Mr Ron Lloyd appeared at the inquiry. Evidence including the Reports of Analysis was presented to the Inquiry. Evidence was also taken from Mr Lloyd regarding the training of MARION KEISKER NZ, his husbandry practices and circumstances preceding the race. Evidence was also presented to the Inquiry by HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr Don Colantonio, Mr John Palmer and Mr Joshua Willick. Mr Lloyd was issued with a charge pursuant to Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) for presenting MARION KEISKER NZ to race not free of a prohibited substance. He pleaded guilty to that charge. In addition, Mr Lloyd was issued with a charge pursuant to Rule 190B for failing at all times to keep and maintain a log book. He pleaded guilty to that charge. Mr Lloyd was disqualified for a period of 11 years 3 months to commence from 7 August 2015 the date upon which he was stood down. In relation to the charge pursuant to Rule 190B, Mr Lloyd was fined the amount of $200. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following; This was Mr Lloyd’s 3rd offence for a Prohibited Substance; Class 1 Prohibited Substance under the HRNSW Penalty Guidelines; Level of substance detected (780 ug/L); Mr Lloyd’s licence history and other personal subjective facts. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, MARION KEISKER NZ was disqualified from the abovementioned race. Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 31 racing clubs across the State. HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government. Reid Sanders
ONE of Tasmania's leading harness racing trainer-drivers Nathan Ford was last week disqualified for four years on two charges of allegedly providing urine samples which DNA analysis has allegedly proved not to be his. Ford provided the two urine samples at a Tasmanian Pacing Club meeting in Hobart on May 24. Ford was charged and found guilty under AHRR 243 which stages that a person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not behave in a way that is prejudicial or detrimental to the industry. During the inquiry evidence was taken from representatives of Racing Analytical Services Ltd, the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory, the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and the defendant. Ford was assisted in the inquiry by barrister Carolyn Graves and Dr Michael Robertson. Tasmanian Harness Racing chairman of stewards Adrian Crowther, who chaired yesterday's inquiry, confirmed Ford had been charged with substituting someone else's urine sample for his own on two occasions after he had been instructed by stewards to provide a urine sample as a part of routine swab sampling of drivers at that meeting. In determining penalty stewards took into consideration Ford's not guilty plea and his personal circumstances. Crowther said the extremity of the penalty also was as a result of the serious nature of the offences which pose a threat to the integrity and the public confidence in harness race and that Ford's actions undermine the importance of drug testing as a means of ensuring the safety and welfare of participants. Ford was disqualified for 18 months on the first offence and 2-1/2 years on the second offence. Ford has successfully lodged an appeal against both the charge and penalty and has been given a stay of proceedings. Peter Staples
The Office of Racing Integrity stewards have concluded an inquiry which began on 26 August 2015 into the results of analysis on human urine samples provided by harness racing driver Nathan Ford at the Tasmanian Pacing Club meeting on 24 May 2015. During the inquiry evidence was taken from representatives of Racing Analytical Services Ltd, the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory, the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and Nathan Ford. Mr Ford was assisted in the inquiry by Barrister Carolyn Graves and Dr Michael Robertson. Mr Ford was found guilty on two (2) charges under AHRR 243, which states: “A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not behave in a way which is prejudicial or detrimental to the industry.” In determining penalty, stewards took into consideration: Mr Ford’s not guilty plea; his personal circumstances; the serious nature of the offences, which pose a threat to the integrity and public confidence in harness racing; and that Mr Ford’s actions undermine the importance of drug testing as a means of ensuring the safety and welfare of participants. Stewards issued Mr Ford with the following penalties: On the first charge Mr Ford was disqualified for a period of 18 months, which was discounted by two months to allow for the time he had been stood down from driving pending the inquiry. On the second charge Mr Ford was disqualified for a period of two and a half years. The disqualifications are to be served cumulatively and will expire at midnight on 8 August 2019. Adrian Crowther Chairman of Stewards - Harness