Day At The Track
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Drug cheats beware - the noose is tightening with New Zealand racing authorities about to launch an unprecedented boost to their testing regime. The Racing Integrity Unit will this week start sending samples to leading labs overseas, a tactic which led to New South Wales officials disqualifying top Canterbury trainer Tim Butt for six months.

The appeal against Victorian harness racing driver and trainer Lance Justice v New Zealand racing Integrity Unit has resulted in the charge, penalty and costs are all dismissed.

January 31 this year 2012 marked the first six months of the Racing Integrity Unit's (inlcuding harness racing) first full year of operation. This half yearly report details our activities and operations against our budget and Business Plan.

The Smoken Up - Lance Justice drawn out harness racing saga has finally come to an end. Justice will pay a $3,500 fine and $16,425 to the New Zealand Racing Integrity Unit and $16,104 to the New Zealand Juydicial Control Authority. Smoken Up was disqualified from first to last.

Charges have been laid against Canterbury harness racing trainer Mark Smolenski for injecting three horses on raceday - but vets are mystified by his choice of substance.

Auckland Reactor today (Wednesday November 2) completed track work at the Rolleston property of his harness racing trainers Mark Purdon and Grant Payne. Present were Mr Purdon's veterinary surgeon Bill Bishop, along with the NZ Racing Integrity Unit appointed Veterinary Surgeon Mr Corin Murfitt and senior Stipendiary Steward Nigel McIntyre.

New Zealand's Racing Integrity Unit stipendiary stewards today (Monday october 31) questioned co-trainer Mark Purdon in relation to the fitness of Auckland Reactor. Mr Purdon advised the Stipendiary Stewards that following trackwork on Saturday morning 29 October 2011, the abrasion sustained to Auckland Reactor's offside foreleg at the Ashburton harness racing meeting on Monday 24 October 2011 had worsened.

The harness racing trainer of champion Australian pacer Smoken Up has warned his trip to Christchurch for Tuesday week's New Zealand Trotting Cup could be scrapped, if the NZ Metro club does not hire security guards to protect all runners.

The New Zealand Racing Laboratory Services has advised the Racing Integrity Unit of an irregularity in the urine sample taken from pacer Call Of Duty following its second placing in Race 3, the McKnight and Brown Mobile Pace at the Invercargill Harness racing meeting on Tuesday 20 September 2011.

Weedons harness racing trainer Mark Smolenski is currently under investigation by the Racing Integrity Unit.

I have called on the Government, more importantly the Minister for Racing Craig Foss, to take charge and bring the major players in the harness racing, greyhound and thoroughbred industries together to come up with a positive platform for change. I have stressed to the Government that the industry is in decline.

A New Zealand Cup start for grand pacer Smoken Up could be dependent on the result of the inquiry into the horse's elevated DMSO level after winning the Pacers Inter-Dominion Final back in April according to his Australian harness racing trainer Lance Justice.

On 31 July 2011 New Zealand's Racing Integrity RIU, which monitors the nation's harness racing, galloping and greyhounds, completed its first six months of operation. The focus of this period has been to establish processes, build the administration base, integrate the operations of the three codes, and complete a strategic business plan.

The New Zealand Racing Laboratory Services has advised the Racing Integrity Unit of an irregularity in the urine sample taken from the pacer Lite Bourbon following its sixth placing in Race 4, the Washington VC Mobile Pace at Otago's harness racing headquarters - Forbury Park - on Tuesday 12 July 2011.

Josh Dickie - one of the good guys in harness racing - has retained his Australasian Junior Driving title he won at Ashburton on June 6 - but it has come at a cost. His appeal case was heard by New Zealand's Racing Integrity Unit and the Judicial Control Authority in Auckland last week and a decision was reached on Monday (July 18).

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