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The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today considered charges issued against licensed trainer-driver Paul Grech under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 190(1) and 190B(1). Charge 1 – AHRR 190(1) reads as follows: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances    This charge related to a post-race urine sample collected from the horse ‘Mister Oz’ after it placed 2nd in Race 1, the ‘Hargreaves Hill Trotters Handicap’, at Yarra Valley on 17 February 2016. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the urine sample revealed the sample to contain a prohibited substance, namely cobalt, at a level of 237 micrograms per litre (µg/L), which is above the allowable threshold (at the time) of 200 µg/L in urine.    Charge 2 - AHRR 190B(1) reads as follows:    A trainer shall at all times keep and maintain a log book   The particulars of this charge related to the stable inspection conducted on 18 March 2016 by HRV Stewards, when Mr Grech was found not to keep and maintain a logbook as required.    Mr Grech pleaded guilty to both charges    The HRV RAD board heard evidence from Investigative Steward Stephen Svanosio, RASL Scientific Manager Paul Zahra and Veterinary Pharmacologist Professor Paul Mills. Each of those witnesses was cross-examined.   The HRV RAD Board also heard submissions from Ms Wood (for the HRV Stewards), Mr Grech and Mr Grech’s representative, Brian Lyngcoln.    In determining penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered Mr Grech’s 35-year involvement in the industry, his record which had two prior prohibited substance offences, the impact of any penalty on Mr Grech both specific and general deterrence and consistency of penalties in relation to cobalt cases. Taking all of these matters into account the HRV RAD Board imposed a 15-month suspension of Mr Grech’s trainers and drivers licences. The HRV RAD Board ordered the suspension to commence at midnight on Saturday 19 August 2017. On the second charge (relating to the log book) the HRV RAD Board imposed a $250 fine.   The HRV RAD Board also ordered that ‘Mister Oz’ be disqualified from Race 1 at Yarra Valley on 17 February 2016 and that the placings be amended accordingly   Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board    Harness Racing Victoria  

Local harness racing trainer Michael Hughes prepared five-year-old mare Narreeva to win the Ken Miller Memorial race at Warragul's trotting meeting on Monday afternoon. In a keen contest Narreeva stormed home out wide to grab victory from Comigal and Temporal Join. The mare is bred and raced by veteran Narre Warren horseman Arthur Fullwood and is a recent addition to the Hughes stable. Narreeva bought up three winning drives for the afternoon for top horseman Greg Sugars, who won earlier in the day with Manly Mach and Betterman Stride. Melton trainer Brett Cargill had his name selected as the winner of a new Dooza Engineering racing sulky, from trainers who had a starter in the Miller Memorial event. Cargill was lucky enough to win the same lucky draw two years ago. Co-feature at Monday's meeting was the Traralgon Pacing Cup, where another exciting contest saw Pressplay grab victory in a keen finish. Trained at Doreen by Rebecca Cartwright and driven by Craig Turnbull, Pressplay has recorded 12 wins from 55 starts. Locally owned and trained filly Courageous Call scored an easy win in the fourth race. Coming off a sixth placing in the recent Victoria Oaks, Courageous Call appreciated a significant drop in class, and led all the way for trainer Gary Quinlan and driver Anthony Butt. She has won connections almost $29,000 in stakes with three wins and five minor placings from only 11 starts. Two other popular winners on the day were Mister Gunsen for trainer-driver Paul Grech in an eventful Trotters Handicap, and Change Of Address, which recorded a third win in succession when taking out the last race. Despite cold, windy conditions, a good crowd was on hand for the eight race program at the Warragul Pacing Bowl. Kyle Galley

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