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Harness Racing Victoria CEO John Anderson today responded to the Racing Integrity Commissioner’s report into the 2014 Ballarat Pacing Cup.   The report has been delivered to the Racing Minister, the Hon Martin Pakula MP.   The Racing Integrity Commissioner made eight recommendations and listed 20 findings in his report.   The recommendations were as follows:-   1: That HRV immediately restore the dedicated position of Compliance Steward.    2: That HRV introduce a training process that provides all Stewards with skills and knowledge in compliance.    3: That HRV introduce a requirement that Stewards’ Panels at all race meetings consist of a minimum of four Stewards, one of which is the dedicated compliance steward.    4: That HRV introduce a requirement that integrity officials, not only Stewards, but also others that come under the ‘General Manager Integrity’ organisational structure such as industry liaison/licensing and investigations, be required to maintain an official work diary.    5: That HRV amend the Rules of Racing to introduce the requirement that participants must advise of a change to their sulkies.   6: That HRV urge HRA to introduce a requirement that every new sulky that is purchased or obtained for use in Harness Racing, is, prior to its use in racing, subject to testing which includes measuring of the width of a sulky to ensure that the sulky conforms to the ‘Sulky Standard’.    7: That HRV commission a review of the Rules of Racing relating to Stewards’ powers and the powers of the controlling body with a view to eliminating lack of clarity and understanding.    8: That this Government reconsider my previous recommendation to amend the Racing Act 1958 to establish an independent body with responsibility for integrity across the three codes and remove such responsibility from the controlling bodies. (See Recommendation 11, 2012 Own Motion Inquiry into Race Fixing dated 23 January 2013).   Mr Anderson advised that HRV supports recommendations 1 to 7 and will work with the various bodies to implement.   In relation to Recommendation 8, Mr Anderson stated HRV had responded to the Racing Minister on this matter following Dale Monteith’s recent report on the Audit of HRV.   Mr Anderson said: “HRV welcomes the advice from the Minister that there will be a consultative process with all three codes regarding future racing industry integrity arrangements. The Board looks forward to participating in the Minister’s review where it will further articulate its views that integrity should remain a function of each controlling body.    HRV also remains open to exploring ways that the three codes can work together to achieve economies of scale and scope to achieve the best outcome for the racing industry overall.”   CODY WINNELL   COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA MANAGER

Commissioner delivers Report regarding the Special Inquiry into the late scratching of horses from the 2014 (Harness Racing) Ballarat Pacing Cup. The Racing Integrity Commissioner, Sal Perna, has delivered to the Minister for Racing and Harness Racing Victoria (HRV), a Report on his Special Inquiry into the late scratching of six out of 10 horses from the Harness Racing Victoria Ballarat Pacing Cup on 13 December 2014.  The Inquiry was conducted at the request of both the Minister and HRV, seeking answers to specific questions regarding the circumstances of the late scratching of horses in the Group 1 Ballarat Pacing Cup (Race 7) following detection by Stewards of noncompliant (oversized width) US style sulkies that the Stewards' Panel prohibited from racing that evening.  The Commissioner's comprehensive investigation involved his use of 'Board of Inquiry' powers to compel attendance of witnesses, including HRV officials and racing industry participants, to answer questions under oath and produce documents.   The Commissioner’s report outlines his findings based on evidence obtained in the Inquiry and eight recommendations for both the harness industry and Government (set out in Attachment 1 below).  The Commissioner found that there was no evidence prior to the race meeting that non-compliant sulkies were being used in Victoria and therefore, it was reasonable for the Stewards to think that oversized sulkies would not be an issue at the race meeting. Nor did the Commissioner find evidence that the non-compliant sulkies were ordered by trainers or drivers to be manufactured contrary to the ‘Sulky Standards’ or that the sulkies were later modified to exceed the 'Sulky Standards'.  The decision of the Stewards' Panel was either questioned or challenged during the race meeting by both participants and HRV management, who entered the Stewards’ Room a number of times encouraging the Stewards to reconsider their decision. Despite these approaches, the Stewards' Panel maintained its decision, but afforded the participants the opportunity to swap sulkies.  The Commissioner determined that the Stewards' Panel took the correct course of action, in accordance with the Rules of Racing, in prohibiting the use of sulkies that breached the Rules.  Sal Perna RACING INTEGRITY COMMISSIONER To contact the Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner, call 8684 7776; fax 8684 7778; email enquiries@racingintegrity.vic.gov.au or contact the Racing Integrity Hotline on 1300 227 225. www.racingintegrity.vic.gov.au ATTACHMENT 1 Commissioner’s Findings The Commissioner made the following findings in his report: 1. HRV Stewards first became aware of a potential issue with oversized sulkies on Wednesday 10 December 2014, following advice from Harness Racing Australia (HRA) of a complaint regarding their possible use and requesting HRV Stewards to measure sulkies at future race meetings. 2. HRV Stewards had not been provided with any evidence prior to the Ballarat Pacing Cup meeting on 13 December 2014 that noncompliant (oversized) sulkies were being used in Victoria and as such there was no reason for the Stewards to think that oversized sulkies would be an issue at the Ballarat Pacing Cup meeting.    3. There was an industry assumption that the US-based manufacturer of the sulkies, the Australian sulky distributor, the sulky owners (HRV registered trainers and drivers) and the Stewards, would all ensure that the sulkies complied with the Rules of Racing and the ‘Sulky Standards’(i.e. a maximum width of 1300mm). However, what was identified, was that little, if any, compliance checking was conducted by any of those parties. 4. The UFO model sulky was approved for use in Australia by Harness Racing Australia (HRA) in October 2012 following an extensive testing program required. The UFO ‘Aussie Alien’ model sulky (a non-offset variation) was approved by HRA in July 2014 without similar testing. 5. The first known order of an ‘Aussie Alien’ in Victoria, later determined to be oversized, was 20 March 2014. That sulky was subsequently used in numerous races and until it was measured at the Ballarat Pacing Cup meeting. 6. There is no evidence that the non-compliant sulkies were ordered by trainers or drivers to be manufactured contrary to the Sulky Standards or that the sulkies were later modified to exceed the 'Sulky Standards'. 7. Following HRV receipt of the HRA advice on 10 December 2014, regarding their potential use, the HRV Chairman of Stewards immediately directed the HRV 'Compliance Steward' to measure sulkies at future race meetings and report back to him. 8. Only one HRV Steward has dedicated ‘Compliance Steward’ responsibilities, including the checking of sulkies against the ‘Sulky Standards’. However, over time that Compliance Steward has performed most of his duties as a member of the Stewards’ Panel at race meetings. 9. The first race meeting at which the Compliance Steward was rostered following the HRA advice of 10 December 2014, was at Tabcorp Park, Melton on 11 December 2014. Whilst the Compliance Steward was rostered on the Stewards’ Panel, he nonetheless examined US-style sulkies. All measured sulkies complied with the Sulky Standards (1300mm width). 10. The first confirmation of the use of a non-compliant sulky was at the Ballarat Pacing Cup meeting on 13 December 2014 when the Compliance Steward (while rostered on a Stewards' Panel) commenced measuring sulkies prior to Race 1 at approximately 6.30pm. The first UFO ‘Aussie Alien’ examined was measured at 1350mm, thereby exceeding the approved width of 1300mm in the ‘Sulky Standards’. The next two UFO ‘Aussie Aliens also measured at 1350mm. All three affected trainers/drivers were subject to a unanimous ruling of the Stewards that there was no discretion under the Rules of Racing and the ‘Sulky Standards’ to permit oversized sulkies to be used. The three affected trainers/drivers sourced replacement sulkies and took part in Race 1. 11. Prior to Race 2, six more sulkies were measured. Five were found to be compliant (including an ‘Aussie Alien’) but another ’Aussie Alien’ was found to be oversized (1350mm). 12. After Race 2 (7.00pm), a further four sulkies were measured, one of which, a ‘Dooza’ brand sulky, measured at 1325mm. 13. The Stewards' Panel issued no formal communication to participants or generally on the basis that their decision not to permit non-compliant sulkies would be common knowledge through participants talking to each other or seeing horses return to the ‘horse movement area’ to swap sulkies. 14. The decision of the Stewards' Panel continued to be either questioned or challenged during the race meeting by both participants and HRV management who entered the Stewards’ Room a number of times encouraging the Stewards to reconsider their decision. At one point HRV management advised the Stewards that they were considering overruling the Stewards' Panel. Despite these approaches, the Stewards' Panel maintained its decision, but afforded the participants the opportunity to swap sulkies. 15. As a result of the Stewards’ advice to trainers and drivers that the decision not to allow non-compliant sulkies would not be changed, at 8.53pm two trainers chose to withdraw their horses from the Pacing Cup due to start at 9.32pm. One trainer (Emma Stewart) had four runners in the Cup and the other (David Aiken) had two runners. Whilst the official records will indicate that these four horses were ‘scratched’, the fact is that they were ‘withdrawn’. As a consequence of the six ‘scratchings’, four horses were left to compete in the Group 1 Race. Both trainers, who had become aware of issues with oversized sulkies earlier that evening, cited a number of reasons why they would not, or could not, swap sulkies. 16. A total of 20 sulkies were checked on the evening of the Ballarat Pacing Cup race meeting. Seven were detected as non-compliant (oversized in width). Six were UFO ‘Aussie Aliens’ (1350mm) and one was a ‘Dooza’(1325mm). 18. Both legally and operationally, the Stewards could not have permitted the use of the oversized sulkies. The ‘Sulky Standard’ is clear and prescriptive and the relevant Rule allows for no discretion. Accordingly, the Stewards' Panel took the correct course of action, in accordance with the Rules of Racing, in prohibiting the use of sulkies that breached the Rules. 19. There was a lack of (timely) communication to participants by the Stewards and/or HRV management in relation to the Stewards’ detection of non-compliant sulkies and decision to prohibit same. 20. There is a lack of clarity and understanding of the Rules of Racing relevant to the powers of the Stewards and HRV as a ‘Controlling Body’.  Commissioner’s Recommendations The Commissioner has made the following eight Recommendations as a result of this Special Inquiry and Findings: Recommendation 1 - That HRV immediately restore the dedicated position of Compliance Steward. Recommendation 2 - That HRV introduce a training process that provides all Stewards with skills and knowledge in compliance. Recommendation 3 - That HRV introduce a requirement that Stewards’ Panels at all race meetings consist of a minimum of four Stewards, one of which is the dedicated compliance steward. Recommendation 4 - That HRV introduce a requirement that integrity officials, not only Stewards, but also others that come under the ‘General Manager Integrity’ organisational structure such as industry liaison/licensing and investigations, be required to maintain an official work diary. Recommendation 5 - That HRV amend the Rules of Racing to introduce the requirement that participants must advise of a change to their sulkies. Recommendation 6 - That HRV urge HRA to introduce a requirement that every new sulky that is purchased or obtained for use in Harness Racing, is, prior to its use in racing, subject to testing which includes measuring of the width of a sulky to ensure that the sulky conforms to the ‘Sulky Standard’. Recommendation 7 - That HRV commission a review of the Rules of Racing relating to Stewards’ powers and the powers of the controlling body with a view to eliminating lack of clarity and understanding. Recommendation 8 - That this Government reconsider my previous recommendation to amend the Racing Act 1958 to establish an independent body with responsibility for integrity across the three codes and remove such responsibility from the controlling bodies. (See Recommendation 11, 2012 Own Motion Inquiry into Race Fixing dated 23 January 2013). Paul Stevens Manager Integrity Operations          

On 6 May 2015, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) heard the application for review of Mr Craig Demmler regarding the decision made by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on 18 March 2015 to affirm the decision of the HRV Stewards made on 13 March 2015 to suspend the training and driving licences of Mr Demmler. The original decision being made pending the outcome of an investigation into an analytical report that one of Mr Demmler’s horses returned an elevated raceday cobalt level that was in excess of the relevant threshold permitted by the rules.  VCAT heard evidence from Dr Richard Cust and also heard submissions from the legal representative of Mr Demmler and the legal representative of the HRV Stewards. VCAT has now released its decision and ordered that the decision of the HRV RAD Board regarding the suspension of Mr Demmler’s licences be set aside, meaning that Mr Demmler’s licences are reinstated and that he is therefore able to undertake activities in accordance with his licences. - HRV Media

On 13 May 2015, the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board heard a matter in regards to various charges issued by HRV Stewards under the Australian Rules of Harness Racing (ARHR) against licensed trainers Mr Vincent Costa and Mr Joseph Costa. Charges issued against Mr Vincent Costa    Charge 1) ARHR 196A (1) reads as follows:     A person shall not administer or cause to be administered to a horse any prohibited substance For the purpose of affecting the performance or behaviour of a horse in a race or of preventing its starting in a race The charge under ARHR 196A (1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Vincent Costa related to a post-race urine sample collected from the horse ‘Uncle Wingnut’  after it won Race 7 the ‘Dunlop Super Dealer 2014 Charlton Pacing Cup’ at Charlton on 16 February 2014.  Mr Costa was the registered trainer of the horse at this time and analytical testing conducted by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Laboratory (HKJCL) and the Chemistry Centre (CC) in Western Australia (WA) reported the sample to contain a cobalt concentration of between 1200 and 1400 micrograms per litre in urine.  Charge 2) ARHR 196A (1) reads as follows:     A person shall not administer or cause to be administered to a horse any prohibited substance (i)For the purpose of affecting the performance or behaviour of a horse in a race or of preventing its starting in a race      The charge under ARHR 196A (1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Vincent Costa related to a pre-race urine sample collected from the horse ‘Beachstar’ before it placed 2nd in Race 7 the ‘Empire Stallions VicBred Super Series’ (4yo Entires and Geldings)  at the Ouyen at Mildura meeting on 13 June 2014.  Mr Costa was the registered trainer of the horse at this time and analytical testing conducted by the HKJCL and the CC (WA) reported the sample to contain a cobalt concentration of between 270 and 290 micrograms per litre in urine. Charge 3) ARHR 196A (1) reads as follows:     A person shall not administer or cause to be administered to a horse any prohibited substance (i)For the purpose of affecting the performance or behaviour of a horse in a race or of preventing its starting in a race      The charge under ARHR 196A (1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Vincent Costa related to a post-race urine sample collected from the horse ‘Blissfull Hart’ after it won Race 7 the ‘Prostate Awareness Night Pace’  at the Swan Hill meeting on 26 June 2014.  Mr Costa was the registered trainer of the horse at this time and analytical testing conducted by the HKJCL and the CC (WA) reported the sample to contain a cobalt concentration of between 590 and 660 micrograms per litre in urine. Charges 4 and 5) ARHR 193(1) reads as follows: A person shall not attempt to stomach tube or stomach tube a horse nominated for a race or event within 48 hours of the commencement of the race or event. These 2 charges issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Vincent Costa related to admissions made by Mr Costa during a stable inspection conducted by HRV Stewards on 25 July 2014 that he had previously in 2013 or 2014 stomach tubed a horse within 24 hours of a race, believing that to be the relevant timeframe in which he could do so. Charges 6) ARHR 190B(1) reads as follows: A trainer shall at all times keep and maintain a log book- listing all therapeutic substances in his or her possession; recording all details of treatment administered to any horse in his or her care and including as a minimum requirement: the name of the horse the date of administration of the treatment the name of the treatment (brand name of active constituent) the route of administration the amount given the name and the signature of the person or persons administering and/or authorising the treatment This charge under ARHR 190B (1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Vincent Costa related to admissions made by Mr Costa during a stable inspection conducted by HRV Stewards on 25 July 2014. Charges issued against Mr Joseph Costa Charge 1) ARHR 248 reads as follows:     A person shall not say, publish or write or cause to be said, published or written anything malicious, intimidatory or otherwise improper about the Controlling Body, its members and employees or the stewards or anyone else associated with the harness racing industry. The charge under ARHR 248 issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Joseph Costa related to improper comments made by Mr Costa about persons associated with the harness racing industry, namely laboratory officials, during a stable inspection conducted by HRV Stewards on 25 July 2014. Charge 2) ARHR 231(2) reads as follows:     A person shall not misconduct himself in any way The charge under ARHR 231(2) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Joseph Costa related to inappropriate comments made by Mr Costa towards HRV Stewards during a stable inspection conducted by HRV Stewards on 25 July 2014. Charges 3) ARHR 190B(1) reads as follows: A trainer shall at all times keep and maintain a log book- listing all therapeutic substances in his or her possession; recording all details of treatment administered to any horse in his or her care and including as a minimum requirement: the name of the horse the date of administration of the treatment the name of the treatment (brand name of active constituent) the route of administration the amount given the name and the signature of the person or persons administering and/or authorising the treatment This charge under ARHR 190B (1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Joseph Costa related to admissions made by Mr Costa that he did not keep a log book recording such information in accordance with the rule. The HRV RAD Board received statements from HRV Investigative Steward Anthony Pearce, Veterinarian Dr Richard Cust, Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) Scientific Manager Mr Paul Zahra and Scientific Consultant Dr John Vine. Both Mr Vincent and Mr Joseph Costa pleaded guilty to all charges and after hearing an agreed submission by the legal representative of the HRV Stewards and the legal representative of Mr Vincent and Joseph Costa as to an appropriate penalty, the HRV RAD Board imposed the penalties listed below.    Mr Vincent Costa - Penalty Charge 1       18 Month disqualification Charge 2       18 month disqualification (concurrent to Charge 1 Charge 3       18 month disqualification (concurrent to charge 1) Charge 4,5    $4,000 fine (with $2,000 suspended) Charge 6       $250 fine Mr Joseph Costa - Penalty Charge 1       $1,000 fine Charge 2       $1,500 fine Charge 3       $250 fine Mr Vincent Costa’s total 18 month disqualification was backdated to 25 July 2014, a date on which his licence was suspended by HRV Stewards.  Mr Vincent Costa’s disqualification will subsequently conclude as at 25 January 2016. Acting under ARHR 195, the HRV RAD Board ordered that Uncle Wingnut, Beachstar and Blissfull Hart be disqualified from their respective races and the places be amended accordingly. Acting under ARHR 200, the HRV RAD Board ordered that all relevant prizemonies from the relevant races be returned to HRV. - HRV Media

A quick look at the Reg Withers Classic honour roll reveals truth in the adage “it is a good horse’s race”. From Henschke’s pioneering win in 2002 in the inaugural classic at Kilmore right through to Follow The Stars’ triumph on Saturday night, the honour roll is adorned with top-line talents. Henschke won 34 of 157 races and pocketed connections over $400,000, with the two-year-old Breeders’ Crown Final at Bendigo his crowning moment. The 2003 Reg Withers Classic winner Maggies Son won 42 races from 168 starts for $368,719. Maggies Son’s biggest victory came in the Vicbred Super Series final at four. In 2005 the Classic again produced a genuine free-for-aller with Tactical Dreamer taking it out before going on to win a Melton Plate and the Preux Chevalier Free-For-All to finish with 21 wins from 100 starts for almost $200,000 in stakes. Garnet River won the Reg Withers Classic in 2009 after winning APG heats and the Youthful Stakes at two and finishing runner-up in the Breeders’ Crown Final. In 2011 Caribbean Blaster was Reg Withers Classic champion, with the Andy Gath-trained son of Bettors Delight etching a name for himself with wins in the Chariots Of Fire, Breeders’ Crown Final, Victoria Cup and the 2014 SA Cup. Caribbean Blaster had 79 starts for 24 wins for over $1.1 million in stakes. In 2012 it was Philadelphia Man who delighted Kilmore fans in the Reg Withers Classic.  He went on to win the Vicbred Super Series Final at three. Flaming Flutter won the 2013 Reg Withers and has gone on to run second in this year’s Inter Dominion, while Smokey Quartz took out the Kilmore feature last year and has just recently resumed from a spell. Back to Saturday night’s winner, Follow The Stars. He’s already considered a top-liner with 16 wins from 22 starts…so watch this space. Trained by Belinda McCarthy, Follow The Stars defeated Burnaholeinmypocket in 1:57 over the 2180-metre trip. HRV Media

Harness Racing Victoria Chairman of Stewards Neal Conder has tendered his resignation, which will take effect on May 29. “Neal has been a valuable member of the HRV staff since January 2008 and has held the vital role of Chairman of Stewards since January 2014,” HRV CEO John Anderson said. “Neal has been a respected member of the leadership team at HRV and he will be a loss to the organisation. “Neal has held several positions in the industry over a number of years in both Victoria and South Australia and has a genuine love for harness racing. “I wish him well in the next phase of his career.” Conder has resigned for personal reasons. Following Conder's departure Nick Murray will assume the Acting Chairman of Stewards role.  HRV will commence a search for a permanent replacement soon. HRV Media

Cobram Harness Racing is turning pink on Thursday, May 7 for the club's ‘Community Pink Ribbon Ladies Day at the Trots’. To celebrate the occasion the lady drivers will be wearing pink pants sponsored by Harness Racing Victoria. A candle lighting ceremony involving ladies from the service clubs and ladies groups who have supported the day as well as students from the Cobram Secondary College will take place at 12 noon; prior to the first race at 12.37pm The talented Cobram Secondary College Stage Band led by band master Justin McLaren will provide musical entertainment during the afternoon while students from the ADVANCE Program at the College have generously volunteered their services to man the gate. All proceeds from the gate will go to the McGrath Foundation. The highlight of the afternoon is the Antica Murrina Paul Roberts Lady Drivers Invitation Race and the highly sought after Xerri Evans Aggregate Award for Lady Driver of the Day. There will be a free sweep on the Invitation Lady Drivers Race for the female patrons. Lady of the Day and Best Hat will be judged during the afternoon with sashes generously donated by the Cobram & District Artists Society and the Cobram Newsagency. Excellent prizes have been provided by Cobram Sit ‘n Sew and Cobram Shoex. A great day’s racing is assured on the nine-race program; races being named after the service clubs, ladies groups and the Moira Shire. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy an afternoon in the sun and the thrills and excitement on one of the state’s best race tracks. Ladies are invited to wear something pink to celebrate the wonderful work of the McGrath Foundation breast-care nurses supporting those battling this cruel disease in our community. - HRV Media Related Links Fields for Cobram, Thursday 07 May 2015 Form guide for Cobram, Thursday 07 May 2015

A host of promising two-year-olds will vie for a share of the rich Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic prize money starting this week at Ballarat and Geelong. The colts and geldings will be in action at Ballarat on Wednesday night, while the fillies will take to the track on Thursday night at Geelong. Kialla trainer Heath Redwood will take two youngsters to Ballarat in the hope of qualifying for the $50,000 Empire Stallions Home Grown Classic Final at Melton on May 15. His best winning chance appears to be unbeaten colt Iconic Valor, which has been the subject of several sizeable offers after winning his two starts. “He’s a very nice horse,” Redwood declared. “I’m really happy with him. He’s 100 per cent and he’s drawn perfectly, with his main danger (Apache Shark) drawn eight.” Redwood begins the night with last-start winner Showgun Thomas, with the son of Bettors Delight to come from barrier eight. “He’s got a good draw for him because he’s an opportunist, who can sit on the speed and peel off a pretty good last sectional,” Redwood said. “Andy’s (Gath) horse (Franklin Art) will probably push forward from the pole, so we should get our shot at them.” In the first of the fillies’ heats the Emma Stewart-trained Whirily School will be looking to stretch her record to three wins at her fourth start when she begins from gate four. To be driven by Greg Sugars, the daughter of Courage Under Fire boasts two professional victories over Diamond Jasper at Geelong and Maryborough. Highly-rated pacer Swiftly Tothebeach will line up in the second heat. Backed into $1.40 favourite on debut, Swiftly Tothebeach finished third, beaten two-and-a-half by Whirily School after working in the breeze. HRV Media

A 15-year-old pacer nicknamed “Sneakers” stole the show during last night’s harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Melton. Veteran gelding Mister Douglas was victorious in the Schweppes Claiming Pace over 1720 metres for trainer-driver Joanne Justice, in what is his 34th win from 291 starts. Making his 9th appearance at the venue, the son of Albert Albert upstaged Livin It Lovin It by a half-head in a mile rate of 1:57.6. Justice said she is “absolutely rapt” with the gelding’s win. “He’s a great horse. He likes the wet and he loves working and racing,” Justice said. “He has been going good, he just needed to find the right race.” Paying $38.30 on the tote, Mister Douglas settled two-back along the pegs from the pole as Four Grinners led. Mister Douglas hit the front inside the final 50 metres before staving off Livin It Lovin It. “He’s got the white socks on his hinds and he’s light on his feet,” Justice said when asked how Mister Douglas got his stable name. Interestingly, Justice also had an association with Mister Douglas’s mother, which she drove to win the Nyah Necklace in 1991. Mister Douglas debuted on April 13, 2003, when scoring at Bendigo. He won several races at Moonee Valley before the home of Victorian metropolitan trotting moved to Melton where Mister Douglas has won eight races. But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the veteran He broke down after 80 starts and experts told Justice at the time he probably wouldn’t race again. “But I walked him and swam him,” Justice said, eventually the trainer getting the gelding back on his feet and back on track.  “We’ll just keep working and racing with him until he doesn’t want to anymore. “I’m sure this is his last season. I am hoping to get to 300 starts.” HRV Media

On 23 April 2015, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal continued the hearing of a part heard review application of Gaita Pullicino.  The review application was in relation to a decision of the Harness Racing Victoria Stewards to cancel Pullicino’s training and driving licences as a result of an alleged breach of a condition attached to her licence relating to a stable inspection conducted by Stewards in September 2014 concerning the amount of horses on the property of Pullicino.  After considering all of the evidence and the submissions of the legal representatives of Pullicino and the HRV Stewards, the Tribunal dismissed Pullicino’s application, affirming that the HRV Stewards were entitled to cancel the licences in the circumstances.  As a result of this decision, Pullicino, who had been operating on a stay of proceedings since 31 October 2014, is not the holder of a current licence and horses nominated for upcoming meetings have been scratched accordingly. HRV Media

Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board Result of the appeal held before the Harness Racing Victoria Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on 10 April 2015. Graeme Lang Against a $500 fine imposed by the stewards under Rule 168(1) at the Bendigo meeting on 19 March 2015. Appeal dismissed. HRV RAD Board Panel: Brian Collis QC (Chairman), John Denahy Appellant Representative: Joe Beder HRV Representative: Kylie Harrison TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS RACING AND DISCIPLINARY BOARD BRIAN COLLIS QC, Chairman MR JOHN DENAHY EXTRACT OF PROCEEDINGS GRAEME LANG DECISION FRIDAY 10 APRIL 2015 MS K HARRISON appeared on behalf of the HRV Stewards MR JOE BEDER appeared on his behalf of Mr Lang  The Board has considered the evidence given at the stewards inquiry held on the 19th of March as per the transcript of that inquiry which has been tendered. We’ve considered the video footage of the race and we’ve considered the evidence and submissions this day including the documentary evidence. Mr Graeme Lang is 82 years of age, he has been involved in the harness racing industry for at least 60 years and is held in high esteem in the harness racing industry generally. We’ve been taken to his record since the year 1980 and it has been pointed out that on occasions when he has been charged with dropping his foot from the sulky rest that that has not resulted in any charge of improper driving and the he has been dealt with by way of caution or by way of moderate fines to say the least and in so being dealt obviously the stewards were not satisfied that there was any intentional act in those occurrences. The horse Katmandonny is a horse of moderate performance. In the concluding stages the Board is satisfied that Mr Lang did maintain a balanced posture and whilst maintaining that balanced posture his left foot did come down from the sulky rest. We are not satisfied on the evidence that there was any contact caused to the hind legs of the horse Katmandonny but we are satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the opinion of the stewards that his foot to leave the footrest in those circumstances was improper driving within the meaning of 168(1) of the Australian Rules of Harness Racing was a reasonably held opinion and therefore we dismiss the appeal with the finding of conviction. Further notwithstanding Mr Lang’s long and excellent record as the Board has found that he was guilty of improper driving on this occasion and as the penalty imposed by the stewards was the usual penalty for this offence we dismiss the appeal as to penalty also. Graeme Lang driving Katmandonny - The race in question The Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board (RADB) is established under section 50B of the Racing Act (1958). The RADB is an independent Board established to hear and determine appeals in relation to decisions made under the rules to impose penalties on persons and to hear and determine charges made against persons for serious offences. Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board  

The Board of Harness Racing Victoria has today received the report on the Audit of Harness Racing Victoria by Dale Monteith, as commissioned by the Minister for Racing the Hon Martin Pakula MP. HRV Chairman Ken Latta said the Board has not yet had an opportunity to meet to discuss the recommendations and will do so in coming days. “The HRV Board thanks Mr Monteith for the important work that he has done in compiling the report. Importantly, Mr Monteith’s open approach encouraged anybody with a view to contribute. There is now a call and an opportunity for the industry to focus on the future,” Mr Latta said. “No doubt the report, with the 18 recommendations, will generate further discussion within the industry and between the Board and the Minister. “Informed by this and Mr Monteith’s findings, the HRV Board will continue to work collaboratively with the Government to establish a blueprint for a stronger and more vibrant Harness Racing sport and industry into the future.”  CODY WINNELL COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA MANAGER  

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) today heard an application of Mr Craig Demmler for a stay of proceedings regarding a decision made by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on 18 March 2015. The decision of the RAD Board was to affirm the 13 March 2015 decision of the HRV Stewards to suspend the training and driving licences of Mr Demmler pending the outcome of an investigation into an analytical report that one of Mr Demmler’s horses returned an elevated raceday cobalt level that was in excess of the relevant threshold permitted by the rules. After hearing submissions from the legal representatives of Mr Demmler and the HRV Stewards, VCAT dismissed Mr Demmler’s application for a stay of proceedings, resulting in Mr Demmler’s licences remaining suspended. The VCAT determined it was only hearing the stay application at this stage and such suspension would remain in place until such time as a further VCAT review hearing (regarding the RAD Board decision) was held on a date to be fixed. Harness Racing Victoria

The Board of Harness Racing Victoria has ratified the 2015-16 racing calendar. A total of 460 harness racing meetings have been scheduled with individual club meeting allocations remaining unchanged from 2014-15. The successful Summer of Glory Carnival will be held across two weeks once again, on Saturday nights February 6 and 13 in 2016. There are 154 day meetings scheduled and 259 night meetings, with 47 twilight programs. The racing calendar can be found by clicking here. Some of the key changes to the calendar are:  Maryborough’s Redwood Carnival to be run two weeks later on Friday 31 July, Saturday 1 August and Sunday 2 August 2015.  Breeders Crown Finals Day to be run one week later on Sunday August 30 2015.  Maryborough Cup to be run on Sunday 25 October 2015 has come forward one week to replace the Kilmore Cup.  Ballarat Cup to move from mid-December to Saturday 30 January 2016.  Cranbourne Cup to move from first Saturday night in December to Saturday night 5 March 2016.  Kilmore Cup to move from Sunday day meeting in late October to Saturday night 19 March 2016.  Mildura will be unavailable from early October until mid-December due to track reconstruction works. This has necessitated the Ouyen Harness Racing Club to be requested to conduct three of their meetings at Swan Hill. CODY WINNELL  COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA MANAGER 

Harness Racing Victoria Financial Update At its recent meeting the Board of Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) reviewed the third quarter financial results and can now forecast with reasonable accuracy HRV’s year-end key indicators. Some of the highlights are: - The HRV Group is forecasting a profit of $2.4m, which is over $1m ahead of budget. - The better than expected profit result is largely on the back of increased wagering revenue, estimating $61m this year compared to last year’s $57.8m. - Total wagering turnover on Victorian product via all wagering service providers (totes and corporate bookmakers) will be approximately $725m, up from last year’s all-time high of $700m. - HRV is projecting to end the year with debt of $25m, which is down $7m on the previous year’s $32m. This means that total debt retired over the last two years amounts to $9m. - Total stakemoney for the year will amount to $38.4m, an increase of $2.2m or 6% on the previous year. HRV CEO John Anderson said: “The projected 2014-15 key indicators are encouraging and will allow further investment in harness racing’s future, in 2015/16 and beyond”. Mr Anderson added: “The HRV Board is currently updating its Strategic Plan, which will address key strategic and operational matters. However, it is important that the overall financial sustainability of the industry is enhanced by growth in the business.” Cody Winnell COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA MANAGER HARNESS RACING VICTORIA  

Pearcedale father and daughter Bill and Simone Walker combined for their second Warragul Cup win on Easter Sunday with their harness racing star pacer Hectorjayjay. After Doolan Jack won the race in 2009, Hectorjayjay led throughout on Sunday, setting a track record mark on 1:59.8 for the first Cup run over the new distance of 2627 metres.   Aged just four the Dream Away gelding having only his thirty-seventh race start, Hectorjayjay held off all his rivals to score his sixteenth win.   It was only his second start at the Warragul Pacing Bowl - Hectorjayjay scored his maiden win on the circuit at age two.   Since then, he has worked his way through the classes and has raced against, and beaten many of, the best competitors in three seasons of racing.   The Walker family look set for some fun times ahead in future too with Hectorjayjay, winner of over $142,000 in stakes.   Owner Matthew McLellan accepted the gold cup from Frank Hone, representing race sponsor the Warragul Sporting and Social Club.   Trainer Bill Walker was clearly emotional at the trophy presentation - he hasn't enjoyed the best of health in recent times however Sunday's win will be a great boost for him.   The Walker stable have been great supporters of Warragul trotting for decades, and their win was a celebrated one among the local crowd.   Hectorjayjay     Feature race for the trotters on Sunday was the Eddie Evison Memorial Cup.   Sunset Invasion won the event. Accepting the Cup was Barry Garbutt - ironically he shod horses for the late Eddie Evison as a farrier in Gippsland many years ago.   Connections of Sunset Invasion were delighted with their victory - the Last Sunset six-year-old is a most consistent racehorse having recorded 14 wins and 16 placings from only 36 starts.   The Ken Miller Memorial Pace went to exciting four-year-old Kurahaupo Gambler, now a winner of three on end for Burrumbeet horseman Michael Stanley.   Undefeated since settling in Australia from New Zealand, the Bettor's Delight four-year-old looks set for greater success after his all-the-way win in Sunday's race.   All mobile start events on Sunday saw times which broke the magical two minute barrier - a first at Warragul and a credit to the track maintenance team.   Despite overcast weather conditions, attendance numbers were up slightly on last year at the Cup meeting.   Trotting returns to Warragul on Monday afternoon, May 4.   Kyle Galley

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