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Robert Dunn feels like he has already won going into harness racing’s biggest day of the year. Because taking 17 horses to New Zealand Cup day at Addington on Tuesday, five of them for the $800,000 holy grail itself, is beyond what Dunn could have realistically hoped for at the start of the season.  “Back when we nominated our ones for the Cup I knew we would get two in, all going well, and would have been thrilled to sneak another one in,” admits the inter-island trainer.  “But to get five into a New Zealand Cup is special. I know there have been a few horses pull out but we can’t control that. “All we can do is train our horses and get them ready and hope they are fit and healthy.  “So to achieve that, and you have seen how many horses who didn’t get there, I feel very satisfied for our owners.  “And I like the fact the owners aren’t scared to get out there and take on the All Stars and those bigger name horses. That is why you race horses, to have them in the best races.” Dunn and his son John have serious winning chances in several of the support races tomorrow with horses like Sundees Son (race three) and Henry Hubert (race four). “They are both flying and Sundees Son’s manners have really improved,” says Dunn.  “So I think he can really test Winterfell in his race while Henry Hubert had no right to win at Kaikoura last start because he didn’t handle the track  “He meets a good field but I’d be keen to see him in front and if they are good enough to beat him so be it.”  That is Dunn’s attitude to his two well-drawn runners in the $170,000 Sires’ Stakes Final, the first major three-year-old race of the season.  Stars Tonight (1) and Heisenberg (2) have the barriers to attempt to lead and trail early and Dunn says John driving will not be intimidated by the Purdon-Rasmussen stars who so often dominate the Sires’ Stakes.  “Heisenberg is a natural front runner so if we lead he will stay there and run them along, we won’t be handing up,” he offers.  But for all their chances in the support races, including Woodstone in the $100,000 NZ Free-For-All Trot, Cup Day is about the Cup and Dunn says Aussie raider Tiger Tara holds the key to the race. “Him drawing the second line has made the race,” offers Dunn.  “If he (Tiger Tara) had drawn to go forward and lead early then I think that would have been the end of the competitive part, the horses around him would have run one, two, three and four and all of his us back in the field would have had no chance.  “But with him drawn the second line I have no doubts he has to launch and try and get the lead. I don’t know if he will or not but it should ensure there is some real speed in the middle section of that race.”  Dunn says that gives his best chance, Alta Orlando, some hope of coming into the race over the last lap and running past those who have expended too much energy making him at least a place chance.  “He is the best chance of our five, while Captain Dolmio has improved in his work and so has Letspendanitetogetha.  “So we have two trucks full of fit horses to take to Cup day and we can’t ask for more than that.”   Michael Guerin

Wow.....where do we start with the 2018 Gr.1 $800,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup? As the second leg of the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit, the Kiwi feature is steeped in tradition after first being staged back in 1904 when Monte Carlo proved victorious while many great names line the pages of history. And another great pacer will etch their name into the record books on the famous second Tuesday in November at Addington. The build-up has been intense and absolutely relentless as we draw closer to the 3200m stand start feature. The early scratchings of Australian star Chicago Bull and local ace Ultimate Machete have only added to the pre-race drama. In fact, the race has seen more moves than a 1980’s disco dance floor! And so many questions need to be answered. All the normal types like who has the Best Stamina? Endurance? Willingness? Desire? And Hunger? But what about answers to the following; Can the All Stars win another Cup? The Mark Purdon/Natalie Rasmussen combination has won 3 of the last 4 editions (Lazarus x 2 & Adore Me) and this year is represented by Thefixer, Cruz Bromac, Eamon Maguire and Dream About Me. Can Dream About Me become the latest mare to claim the Cup? The last mare to score in the Cup came from this stable with Adore Me triumphant four years ago. At this point, Dream About Me is the only mare starting in the Cup although Queen Bee Bardon is listed as the third emergency. Thefixer is facing the starter for only the 16th time, only Mainland Banner has had less starts prior to winning the Cup (it was her 12th start). Can the All Stars prepare the trifecta in the Cup? Back in 2016, they prepared 1st, 3rd & 4th (Lazarus, Titan Banner & Smolda). The biggest number of starters in a New Zealand Cup from All Stars is five (2012). Respected trainer Robert Dunn has the biggest representation in the Cup with five starters; he will gear up Alta Orlando, Captain Dolmio, Letspendanitetogetha, Billy Badger and Zadaka. Can he train his second winner of the event? Dunn scored with wonder mare Mainland Banner back in 2005. Can Ricky May score a record 8th Cup victory when he partners the Greg and Nina Hope trained A G’s White Socks? The next best is Cecil Devine who won 6 Cups. Can Aussie raider Tiger Tara join the likes of Steel Jaw, (My) Lightning Blue and Arden Rooney as an Australian trained winner of the Cup? Prepared by Sydney horseman Kevin Pizzuto, the $1.59 million earner will be handled by regular reinsman Todd McCarthy who is taking his 3rd Cup drive. Now an eight-year-old, Can Tiger Tara join Monkey King (2010) as the most recent winner of the Cup at that age? Tiger Tara is starting in his 4th Cup. Champion reinsman Tony Herlihy is chasing his 4th Cup victory and will partner the highly regarded Auckland trained Star Galleria for trainer Steve Reid. Can Barry Purdon train his 4th Cup winner when Jack’s Legend takes his spot in the Cup? If successful, it will be his 1st outright victory after preparing his trio of winners in partnership with his legendary father Roy. Can Zachary Butcher (Jack’s Legend) join his father David (Changeover – 2008) as a Cup winning driver? Oddly, Changeover (Geoff Small) was the most recent North Island trained winner of the Cup. Can Natalie Rasmussen (Thefixer), Sam Ottley (Forgotten Highway) or Sheree Tomlinson (Locharburn) join Kerryn Manning as a female winning driver of the Cup? Can super sire Bettors Delight claim his 5th Cup after winning the past 4 editions? This year, the record breaking stallion is represented by Thefixer, Dream About Me, Jack’s Legend, Forgotten Highway & Tiger Tara. Can 1998 Cup winner Christian Cullen produce his 2nd winner (Mainland Banner – 2005)? The wonder horse is represented by Locharburn and Baileys Knight (2nd emergency). Interestingly, the horse that has claimed the title of APG Grand Circuit champion for the past two seasons has won the Cup…..the one and only Lazarus! So, all this and more will make sense late on Tuesday afternoon. Because then, at 5.12pm Local time, it will be time for answers.   Chris Barsby

Harness racing mare Dream About Me has secured her start in this years New Zealand Cup by winning the Inkwise Canterbury Classic on a wet old night at Addington Raceway. The Bettor's Delight mare had to be tough to win, having to lead all the way on a track made sticky by persistent rain during the evening.  In a punishing finish driver Tim Williams got the best out of the now millionare pacer and she held on to beat a fast finishing Forgotten Highway by half a head at the winning post. The Robert Dunn trained Alta Orlando also arrived quickly over the last 100m for driver Ross Houghton and he just nosed out stablemate Letspendanitetogetha for third right on the line. The first, second and third placegetters in the race were guaranteed a start in the 2018 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup and the fourth placed runner Letspendanitetogetha is another guaranteed starter after winning the Avon City Ford New Brighton Cup three weeks ago. Over the last twelve runnings of the race the winning time of 3-20.6 for the 2600m stand was the slowest since the distance was lengthened from 1950m to a 2600m distance in 2007. The last 800m was where the action was as the leaders sprinted home off the front in a slick 55.5 for the last 800m with a closing 400m in 26.9 seconds. Tim Williams gave credit to the mares toughness after the race, "I was a bit worried when Forgotten Highway loomed up to me, but credit to this mare she is so genuine. "When I really asked her for an effort inside that last 50m, she stuck her head out and knew right where the line was," he said. As well as bringing up her 21st win in tonights race, Dream About Me has now clicked over the one million dollar mark in lifetime earnings in a racing career that started with a winning run in a 2yo fillies race at Timaru in 2015. Williams ended up with four wins and two seconds for the night and was an easy winner of the TAB Addington Drivers Challenge after opening a short priced favourite for the drivers option before the races had started.   Harnesslink Media

Robert Dunn knows his team are going to need to do it the hard way to win at Alexandra Park tonight. But he says that might actually suit a couple of them. Dunn is New Zealand's only true inter-island trainer, with a group in the north year-round while son John looks after a larger Canterbury team. The pair have been able to make something many have tried but few have perfected work, having run second on the premiership the last five years, only the All Stars standing in the way of them consistently being our leading stable. Dunn has only 10 horses at his northern base, having sent another 12 back to the South Island to recover from a virus. "We got hit hard by the viruses that have been hanging around up here this season so we sent a whole lot of horses home to be spelled," says Dunn. "Then they can train up down there and come back when the time is right. "It is not as easy winning races up here as some people might think, the racing is hard and because the fields are small it is easy for horses to get up in the grades quickly. "But I am happy with how the northern stable has gone and we have a foothold now before the stakes are set to go a lot higher next season so our long-term plan is coming together." Although Dunn is acutely aware the ability to race handy is often crucial at Alexandra Park, he says Woodstone (race five) and Sundees Son (race seven) are good enough to get back tonight and still win. Woodstone has been outstanding since coming north but will give his rivals a start in the $40,000 Uncut Gem Trot, a Jewels consolation. "I think he is a horse better not rushed early and able to get into a rhythm," says Dunn. "He was massive winning last week and while this is a good even field he can win again. "He really loves it right-handed, which is another big factor in picking which horses to bring north." Woodstone will have to beat four reps from the Michelle Wallis-Bernie Hackett stable, who won three trots at Alexandra Park last Friday and have been two of the biggest supporters and therefore beneficiaries of the ATC's emphasis on trotting races in the last two years. All 31 of their wins this season have been with trotters seeing them lead the national premiership for the gait. Sundees Son is way better than his formline indicates and with peak concentration he can beat the older horses. "He is good enough to win but he needs to be looked after early and not get into trouble, which he is pretty good at doing." The Dunns won't have to rely on such luck with Billy Badger in the $40,000 Uncut Gems for the male pacers, with the talented pacer likely to try to lead and make hot favourite Classic Brigade chase him, which could make them a solid quinella bet. Michael Guerin

Harness racing trainer Robert Dunn and his son John have successfully appealed their $14,000 fine given to them for presenting horses to race with a prohibited substance in their system. On the 4th July 2017 the New Zealand Racing Laboratory issued Analytical Reports indicating the presence of caffeine in four swabs taken from horses racing at Nelson on the 9th and 11th of June 2017. This started a lengthy investigation into why and how this stimulant (caffeine) came to be in the system of the winning horses and ended with a $7000 fine for both Robert and John handed down by the JCA in March 2018. The appeal which was held last Friday resulted in reducing the fine from $7,000 each down to $3,900 for both Robert and John Dunn.   Full details below:   BEFORE AN APPEALS TRIBUNAL OF THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY UNDER THE RACING ACT 2003 IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing ROBERT JOHN DUNN, Public Trainer & JOHN ROBERT DUNN, Open Horseman APPELLANTS RACING INTEGRITY UNIT (RIU) RESPONDENT Appeals Tribunal: Mr Murray McKechnie, Chairman & Professor Geoff Hall Present : Mr Paul Dale, Counsel for Messrs Dunn Mr Robert Dunn Mr Chris Lange, Counsel for RIU Mr Neil Grimstone, Manager Integrity RIU Dr Leo Molloy DECISION OF APPEALS TRIBUNAL OF JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY DATED THIS 1ST DAY OF JUNE 2018 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 The Tribunal has heard an appeal from a decision of a Non-raceday Judicial Committee dated 28 March 2018. 1.2 Mr Robert John Dunn is a licensed public trainer and Mr John Robert Dunn is a licensed open horseman. Each faced four informations alleging breaches of the Prohibited Substance Rule 1004(1), (1A), (3), (3A) and (4) of the New Zealand Harness Rules of Racing. Those Rules are as follows: “Rule 1004(1) For the purpose of this rule a horse is presented for a race during the period commencing at 8.00 am on the day of the race for which the horse is nominated and ending at the time it leaves the racecourse after the running of that race. (1A) A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. … (3) When a horse is presented to race in contravention of sub-rule (1A) or (2) the trainer of the horse commits a breach of these Rules. (3A) When a horse is presented to race in contravention of sub-rule (1A) or (2) the trainer of the horse commits a breach of these Rules. (3A) When a person is left in charge of a horse and the horse is presented to race in contravention of sub-rule (1A) or (2) the trainer of the horse and the person left in charge both commit a breach of these Rules. (4) A breach of sub-rule (1A), (2) or (3A) is committed regardless of the circumstances in which the .. prohibited substance came to be present in or on the horse. 1.3 The relevant Penalty Rule provides as follows: “Rule 1004(7) Every person who commits a breach of sub-rule (2) or (3) shall be liable to: (a) a fine not exceeding $20,000; and/or (b) be disqualified or suspended from holding or obtaining a licence for any specific period not exceeding five years.” 1.4 The informations faced by Messrs Dunn result from the Nelson Harness Racing Club’s meeting on 9 and 11 June 2017. On 9 June a horse trained by Mr Robert Dunn and in the charge of Mr John Dunn (Mr Robert Dunn not being present on course) named Rishi tested positive for caffeine following Race 2. The horse Hayden’s Meddle tested positive for caffeine following Race 7. The horse Billy Badger took part in Race 10 and following testing also tested positive for caffeine. Caffeine is a nominated prohibited substance. Each of the three horses, Rishi, Hayden’s Meddle and Billy Badger, had won their races and were subject to a mandatory disqualification under Rule 1004D or Rule 1004(8). On the second day of the meeting at Nelson, on 11 June, Billy Badger took part in Race 8 and won that race. He again tested positive for the prohibited substance caffeine. 2. HEARING BEFORE NON-RACEDAY JUDICIAL COMMITTEE 2.1 The RIU submitted an agreed Summary of Facts. That is set out in paragraph 7 of the decision under appeal. 2.2 The Non-raceday Judicial Committee (the Committee) recorded the submissions made for the RIU by Mr Grimstone and for Messrs Dunn by their lay advocate, Dr Leo Molloy. 3. THE APPROACH ON APPEAL 3.1 This appeal is by way of rehearing. 3.2 The Tribunal is guided by what was said in the Supreme Court judgment Kacen v Bashir (2010) NZSC112 at paragraphs 31 and 32 which are to the following effect: [31] The Court of Appeal discussed the application of the decision of this Court in Austin Nichols & Co Inc v Stichting Lodestar to the present kind of appeal. The Court correctly observed that on a general appeal of the present kind the appellate court has the responsibility of considering the merits of the case afresh. The weight it gives to the reasoning of the court or courts below is a matter for the appellate court’s assessment. We should add here that if the appellate court admits further evidence, that evidence will necessarily require de novo assessment and consideration of how it affects the correctness of the decision under appeal. The Court of Appeal was right to say that Courtney J had rather overstated the effect of Austin, Nichols when she indicated she should approach the appeal to the High Court “uninfluenced” by the reasoning of the Family Court. The High Court was required to reach its own conclusion, but this did not imply that it should disregard the Family Court’s decision. What, if any, influence the Family Court’s reasoning should have was for the High Court’s assessment. [32] But, for present purposes, the important point arising from Austin, Nichols is that those exercising general rights of appeal are entitled to judgment in accordance with the opinion of the appellate court, even where that opinion involves an assessment of fact and degree and entails a value judgment. In this context a general appeal is to be distinguished from an appeal against a decision made in the exercise of a discretion. In that kind of case the criteria for a successful appeal are stricter: (1) error of law or principle; (2) taking account of irrelevant considerations; (3) failing to take account of relevant consideration; or (4) the decision is plainly wrong. The distinction between a general appeal and an appeal from a discretion is not altogether easy to describe in the abstract. But the fact that the case involves factual evaluation and a value judgment does not of itself mean the decision is discretionary. 4. THE CASE FOR THE APPELLANTS 4.1 Mr Dale submitted that there were three key facts which required consideration and which were not adequately addressed by the Committee. These facts are said to be: i There was evidence that the Appellants may not have been responsible for the administration of the prohibited substance caffeine and that this may have been done by some person bearing ill-will towards the Dunn stable or towards owners with horses in the stable. ii That the RIU acknowledged that neither of the Appellants had intentionally administered caffeine to the horses in order to gain any advantage. iii That the RIU had proposed that the offences be treated as a single breach when assessing penalty. 4.2 It was submitted that the factual background was very important and somewhat unique. There was evidence of a telephone discussion between two persons, one a former employee of the Dunn stable, which conversation was said to have involved discussion of the horses being drugged and that this discussion took place before any laboratory tests had become known. As a result of this telephone conversation it was argued that the Dunns may have been “framed”. Mr Dale, in correspondence with the RIU, proposed that charges not be laid or alternatively that there be no penalty other than disqualification of the horses. That course was followed in McInerney v Templeton 10 November 1999 Pankhurst J. The letter from Mr Dale to the RIU was followed up with a letter to the New Zealand Police and Mr Dale subsequently had discussions with a Christchurch based detective. Thereafter advice was given to Vodafone that Messrs Dunn would seek the telephone records in relation to the conversation said to have occurred in relation to the horses being drugged. An application was prepared for filing in the High Court seeking discovery against Vodafone. The Tribunal was advised that the Vodafone response to the request for information was that it no longer had the records as these were not kept beyond six months. Mr Dale emphasised that the commitment of resources and necessarily the expenditure of significant funds in an attempt to obtain non-party discovery was consistent with the Appellants’ belief that evidence favourable to their position might be available. 4.3 The legal submissions for the Appellants are discussed in paragraph 6 below. 5. THE HEARING BEFORE THE COMMITTEE 5.1 At the hearing before the Committee the Appellants were represented by the lay advocate, Dr Leo Molloy. Before the matter came before the Committee there had been extended discussions between Dr Molloy and Mr Grimstone, representing the RIU. The parties had essentially reached an agreed position. That position was as follows: i The RIU had endeavoured to identify any third party who may have been involved but could not do so. ii There was no evidence that either Mr Robert Dunn or Mr John Dunn had been responsible for administering the prohibited substance. iii The RIU would treat the multiple positive tests as a single event and would seek one penalty. It was the RIU submission that that penalty should start at around $4,000. iv The RIU would acknowledge the Appellants’ good records. The Tribunal observes that the RIU did not draw to the attention of the Committee the decision in the case of the RIU v Robert Dunn, John Dunn and Craig Smith dated 16 January 2017. That decision of a Non-raceday Judicial Committee arose out of events which occurred at Forbury Park Raceway in Dunedin on 23 June 2016. In response to the position taken by the RIU the stance taken by the Appellants before the Committee was as follows: i They would accept the presenting charges. ii They would deny any responsibility for the presence of the prohibited substance in the four horses. iii That the decision of the Non-raceday Judicial Committee in the case of RIU v Larsen 16 January 2017 should be the benchmark for setting the level of penalty. In that case the fine imposed was $200. Further reference will be made to the decision of the Non-raceday Judicial Committee and RIU v Larsen later in this decision. 5.2 The Committee delivered a comprehensive decision. The conclusion reached by the Committee was that there should be a total fine of $14,000, and it was appropriate that Mr Robert Dunn and Mr John Dunn each be fined $7,000. In summary, the most significant findings of the Committee are now set out: i That there was no evidence to confirm that there had been conduct by third parties involved in framing the Appellants or as it is sometimes known nobbling of the horses. ii The decisions in Burrows and McGrath which were put forward by Dr Molloy were not accepted as valid comparisons. iii Dr Molloy invited the Committee to dismiss the charges against Mr John Dunn. This the Committee rejected and pointed out that Mr Dunn had accepted his responsibility by way of his guilty pleas. The Committee drew attention to the fact that Mr John Dunn was the person “left in charge of a horse” and further that the horses were “presented to race in contravention of Rule 1(A)”. iv The Committee accepted that the offences were what is known as presentation offences rather than the more serious administration offences. The Committee did not accept the RIU submission that the nature of the prohibited substance and the surrounding circumstances should lead to a conclusion that there had been one breach for the purposes of setting penalty. v The Committee was not prepared to accept that the loss of stake money as a result of the horses’ disqualification, said to be at considerable cost to Messrs Dunn, was a significant matter in mitigation. vi The Committee accepted that culpability for breach of the prohibited substance rule can vary greatly but the Committee’s assessment (paragraph 47) was that there were multiple failings and that this put the level of offending at above mid-range. vii The Committee rejected the submission by Dr Molloy that the Dunn brand had been damaged beyond repair. The Committee recognised that the Dunns are longstanding industry participants but pointed out that the circumstances of how these horses came to be presented with a prohibited substance would not lead to damage of the licence holder’s reputation to the extent submitted by Dr Molloy. viii In paragraph 54 the Committee made reference to the RIU submission seeking a total fine of $4,000. The Committee made clear that this was considered far too lenient when the specific circumstances of the offending were taken into consideration. The Committee expressed the view that a fine at that level for eight breaches of the Prohibited Substance Rule would fail to have regard to the well-recognised sentencing principles and which principles were put forward by the RIU. ix The Committee gave consideration to the recent decisions in RIU v KD Townley, RIU v BR Negus, RIU v Edmonds and RIU v Brosnan. x The position of the Committee is succinctly set out in paragraph 59 of the decision which is as follows: We maintain the view that the position of the RIU still fails to have regard to the multiple nature of these breaches. While the RIU indicate that they could not rule out third party involvement, we make the observation that that is often a consideration in presentation breaches where the source of the prohibited substance is not known. In this particular case, while a possibility, we are not prepared to make such a definitive finding. xi The Committee took the view that it was appropriate to apply the $8,000 JCA Penalty Guideline figure in respect of each of the breaches on 9 June 2017. In relation to the second breach for Billy Badger on 11 June 2017 the Committee applied a figure of $4,000. This led to a starting point of $28,000. The Committee then applied what it described as “an appropriate adjustment to reflect the circumstances surrounding the breaches in accordance with the totality principle” and reduced the figure from $28,000 by just over one third to $18,600. xii In considering mitigation the Committee applied a discount of approximately 25 per cent. This was referenced to the previous record of the Appellants. As earlier noted the decision of the Non-Raceday Judicial Committee in RIU v Robert John Dunn and Craig Smith of 16 January 2017 was not drawn to the attention of the Committee. xiii The decision of the Non-Raceday Judicial Committee in RIU v Larsen 16 January 2017, which decision figured prominently in Mr Dale’s submissions, was not drawn to the attention of the Committee. 6. LEGAL SUBMISSIONS FOR APPELLANTS 6.1 It was said for the Appellants that it was difficult to follow the reasoning of the Committee in rejecting the RIU position that the charges should be viewed as one breach for the purposes of fixing penalty. 6.2 It was submitted that there was inadequate recognition by the Committee of the curious circumstances which suggested that other persons may have been involved. In the Tribunal’s view the Committee was right to emphasise that no conclusive evidence had been obtained to support the involvement of other parties. It was submitted that the circumstances around the possible involvement of other parties should have led to a comparison with the decision in RIU v Larsen. In the first place the Larsen decision was not drawn to the attention of the Committee. Secondly, the factual position in Larsen was significantly different. In that case the Non-Raceday Judicial Committee had before it evidence from which it was able to draw a compelling inferential conclusion that Mr Larsen had nothing whatever to do with the administration of the prohibited substance Ketoprofen. 6.3 Particular emphasis was placed upon the cooperation from the Appellants and the attempts made on their behalf to establish whether there was involvement of others. That cooperation was expressly acknowledged in the RIU submissions and it was contended for the Appellants that there was not adequate recognition of this in the decision under appeal. 6.4 The early pleas by the Appellants were emphasised by Mr Dale. 6.5 Attention was drawn to the fact that the penalty sought by the RIU was a fine of $4,000 whereas the penalty ultimately imposed was more than three times the sum sought by the prosecuting authority. This Tribunal recognises that a judicial or quasi judicial body is not bound to accept the penalty proposed by the prosecuting authority, however it is unusual but not unique for the penalty that is imposed to be significantly greater than that sought by the prosecutor. 6.6 In answer to a question from the Tribunal, Mr Dale advised that if the level of fine imposed had been as submitted by the RIU no appeal would have been lodged. 6.7 Mr Dale was reluctant to put forward an appropriate figure but made it plain to the Tribunal that a figure close to that put forward by the RIU was appropriate and that necessarily that would involve a significant reduction from the figure arrived at by the Committee. 7. THE POSITION OF THE RIU 7.1 The submissions filed by Mr Lange drew attention to a number of decisions which emphasised the significant obligation of licensed persons to ensure that racing was drug free. The most recent New Zealand authority is Justice 2012 a decision of the Appeals Tribunal. This was a high profile case following a positive test for a prohibited substance by the horse Smokin Up, the winner of the Interdominion Grand Final at Alexandra Park. 7.2 The RIU submissions correctly pointed out that the Prohibited Substance Rule does not require the investigation to establish how the substance came to be in the horse’s system. That is expressly recognised by Rule 1004(4) and by a number of judicial decisions. Further, the Rule requires licensed persons to take steps to ensure, so far as they are able, that there is no inadvertent administration or that the horses are not nobbled by some third party. 7.3 The RIU submissions acknowledge that the Committee imposed a penalty significantly higher than that submitted by the RIU. The submissions go on to point out that the Committee was not bound by the RIU submission and that it was for the Committee to make its own determination of the appropriate level of fine. 7.4 In relation to the appropriate approach that is to be taken in setting a penalty under the Rules of Harness Racing, the submissions make extensive reference to the judgment of the Supreme Court in Z v Complaints Assessment Committee [2009] 1NZLR1. In essence, that judgment emphasises that punishment is not the primary purpose of disciplinary proceedings, rather those proceedings are to protect the public who may have contact with the profession or industry where the breach of standards is said to have occurred. The RIU submissions drew attention to the fact that the principles that are set out in the Supreme Court judgment in Z v Complaints Assessment Committee are now expressly included in the Rules of Procedure for Judicial Committees and Appeals Tribunals under the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing by reference to clause 5 which came into effect on 27 August 2015. 7.5 The RIU submissions referred to a number of decisions which bear some comparison. These included RIU v Edmonds 31 March 2016, RIU v Negus 20 March 2018, RIU v Brosnan 13 February 2018 and RIU v Larsen 16 January 2017. The submissions rightly point out that the facts of Larsen were unique and bear little or no meaningful comparison with the events under consideration here. 7.6 Reference is made in the RIU submissions to the decision in RIU v Robert Dunn, John Dunn and Craig Smith of 16 January 2017, which decision, as earlier observed, had not been drawn to the attention of the Committee. On that occasion Mr Robert Dunn was fined $4,000 and Mr John Dunn $2,000. It was said for the RIU that it would be open to the Tribunal to infer that those fines had not brought home to the Appellants the high standards expected of them in harness racing. 7.7 The RIU submissions conclude by observing that the Rules place the obligation on the trainer and the person in charge to ensure that a horse is free of prohibited substances and that given the number of breaches that occurred and by reference to relevant authorities, the penalty which the Committee set was within the range available to it. 7.8 The RIU submissions do not meaningfully address the reasoning behind the submission which the RIU put to the Committee that an appropriate fine – being a single fine in respect of both Appellants – was the figure of $4,000. 8. DISCUSSION 8.1 The Tribunal has concern that with reference to the three horses, Rishi, Hayden’s Meddle and Billy Badger, that tested positive following racing on 9 June 2017, the Committee adopted the $8,000 JCA Penalty Guidelines figure in each case thus reaching a figure of $24,000. The Tribunal considers that the breaches were at the lower end of mid-range. In those circumstances the Tribunal believes that it would have been more appropriate given that all the breaches took place on the same day at the same racecourse to have adopted a figure of $6,000 in respect of the three horses, Rishi, Hayden’s Meddle and Billy Badger. The figure for Billy Badger on 11 June might appropriately been $2,000. These figures just spoken of would lead to an initial starting point of $20,000. In paragraph 60 of the Committee’s decision there is an adjustment. There is reference to what is described as “an appropriate adjustment to reflect the circumstances surrounding these breaches in accordance with the totality principle…” The figure which the Committee adopted was just over one third. The Tribunal considers that the adjustment was appropriate. Adopting the same approach here, a discount of just a little over one third of, say, $7,000 would reduce the figure earlier spoken of being $20,000 to $13,000. 8.2 With reference to mitigation, the Committee applied a discount of approximately 25 per cent. In paragraph 61 of its decision the Committee expressly recognised the early admission of the offending by the Appellants, their cooperation and their previous records, albeit through no fault of the Committee there was no reference to the decision of 16 January 2017 spoken of earlier involving both Appellants and a member of their staff, Craig Smith. 8.3 In considering an appropriate allowance for mitigation the Tribunal considers that there might properly have been greater recognition of the position arrived at by the RIU and the Dunns’ advisors, Dr Molloy and Mr Dale. The extent to which the Appellants cooperated with RIU and the extent to which the RIU endeavoured to follow up the Appellants’ concerns is a situation for which both parties should receive recognition. That level of cooperation is seen all too infrequently within harness racing and the other two codes over which the JCA has authority. An appropriate figure to measure mitigation in the circumstances outlined would have been 40 per cent. That results in the figure of $13,000 arrived at in paragraph 8.1 above being reduced to $7,800. As did the Committee, the Tribunal considers that the fines should be shared equally between Messrs Robert Dunn and John Dunn. Each will be fined the sum of $3,900. 9. COSTS 9.1 At the conclusion of the hearing of the appeal in Auckland on Monday, 28 May 2018 the Tribunal indicated that it would invite submissions from both parties on the question of costs. That the Tribunal now does. An entirely preliminary view is that given the circumstances of this case and the outcome each of the parties might reasonably be required to meet their own costs and each make an equal contribution towards some costs in favour of the JCA. As both experienced counsel will know, the figure that is set for JCA costs is not commonly an indemnity figure but simply a contribution towards the costs of setting up and conducting the hearing. 9.2 Submissions on the issue of costs are sought from both parties within seven (7) working days of receipt of this decision: such submissions not to exceed three pages. DATED this 1st day of June 2018 Murray McKechnie Chairman (signed pursuant to the Fifth Schedule to the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing)     Harnesslink Media

Harness racing trainer Robert Dunn and his son John Dunn have each been fined $7000 for producing horses to race when not free of a prohibited substance. The horses in question were Billy Badger, Rishi and Hayden's Meddle and all have been disqualified from their race wins at the Nelson two day meeting in June last year, with Billy Badger disqualified in both wins he had at the meeting. On the 4th July 2017 the New Zealand Racing Laboratory issued Analytical Reports indicating the presence of caffeine in four swabs taken from horses racing at Nelson on the 9th and 11th of June 2017. This started a lengthy investigation into why and how this stimulant (caffeine) came to be in the system of the winning horses. Full details below:   BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY UNDER THE RACING ACT 2003 IN THE MATTER of the Rules of Harness Racing BETWEEN RACING INTEGRITY UNIT Informant AND RJ DUNN Respondent AND JR DUNN Respondent Judicial Committee: Mr Tangi Utikere (Chairman) Mr Russell McKenzie (Committee Member) Parties: Mr Neil Grimstone (for the RIU) Dr Leo Molloy (Lay Advocate for the Respondents) Informations: A6412, A6413, A6414, A6415, A6416, A6417, A6418 and A6419 WRITTEN DECISION OF JUDICIAL COMMITTEE DATED 28 MARCH 2018 FACTS [1] The Respondents, Mr RJ Dunn (Licensed Public Trainer) and Mr JR Dunn (Licensed Open Horseman) each face four charges under the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing. [2] The charges are detailed in Informations A6412, A6413, A6414, A6415, A6416, A6417, A6418 and A6419. They collectively allege breaches of the Prohibited Substance Rule: Rules 1004(1), (1A), (3), (3A) and (4) of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing. [3] The relevant Rules are as follows: “Rule 1004 (1) For the purpose of this rule a horse is presented for a race during the period commencing at 8.00 a.m. on the day of the race for which the horse is nominated and ending at the time it leaves the racecourse after the running of that race. (1A) A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.… (3) When a horse is presented to race in contravention of sub-rule (1A) or (2) the trainer of the horse commits a breach of these Rules. (3A) When a person is left in charge of a horse and the horse is presented to race in contravention of sub-rule (1A) or (2) the trainer of the horse and the person left in charge both commit a breach of these Rules. (4) A breach of sub-rule (1A), (2), or (3A) is committed regardless of the circumstances in which the. . . prohibited substance came to be present in or on the horse.” [4] The relevant Penalty Provision provides as follows: “Rule 1004(7) Every person who commits a breach of sub-Rule (2) or (3) shall be liable to: (a) a fine not exceeding $20,000.00; and/or (b) be disqualified or suspended from holding or obtaining a licence for any specific period not exceeding five years.” [5] The specific Informations alleged: Information No A6412 THAT, on 9 June 2017 Robert John DUNN (together with John Robert DUNN) being the trainer or person left in charge of the standardbred RISHI presented the horse to race in Race 2, the CAVALIER TROTTING PRODUCTS/THE POINT OF SALE CO. MOBILE PACE, at the Nelson Harness Racing Club’s meeting with a prohibited substance, namely caffeine, in its system in breach of the Prohibited Substance Rule: rules 1004(1), (1A), (3), (3A) and (4). And you are therefore liable to the penalties which may be imposed under rule 1004(7). The horse, RISHI, is subject to a mandatory disqualification from the race under rule 1004D or rule 1004(8) and is liable to disqualification up to 5 years under rule 1004(8). Information No A6413 THAT, on 9 June 2017 Robert John DUNN (together with John Robert DUNN) being the trainer of the standardbred HAYDEN’S MEDDLE, presented the horse to race in Race 7, the HARDY'S BAR & TAB MOBILE PACE, at the Nelson Harness Racing Club’s meeting with a prohibited substance, namely caffeine, in its system in breach of the Prohibited Substance Rule: rules 1004(1), (1A), (3), (3A) and (4). And you are therefore liable to the penalties which may be imposed under rule 1004(7). The horse, HAYDEN’S MEDDLE, is subject to a mandatory disqualification from the race under rule 1004D or rule 1004(8) and is liable to disqualification up to 5 years under rule 1004(8). Information No A6414 THAT, on 9 June 2017 Robert John DUNN (together with John Robert DUNN) being the trainer of the Standardbred BILLY BADGER presented the horse to race in Race 10, the SPEEDY SIGNS MOBILE PACE, at the Nelson Harness Racing Club’s meeting with a prohibited substance, namely caffeine, in its system in breach of the Prohibited Substance Rule: rules 1004(1), (1A), (3), (3A) and (4). And you are therefore liable to the penalties which may be imposed under rule 1004(7). The horse, BILLY BADGER, is subject to a mandatory disqualification from the race under rule 1004D or rule 1004(8) and is liable to disqualification up to 5 years under rule 1004(8). Information No A6415 THAT, on 11 June 2017 Robert John DUNN (together with John Robert DUNN), being the trainer of the standardbred BILLY BADGER presented the horse to race in Race 8, the NELSON PINE INDUSTRIES NELSON WINTER CUP, at the Nelson Harness Racing Club’s meeting with a prohibited substance, namely caffeine, in its system in breach of the Prohibited Substance Rule: rules 1004(1), (1A), (3), (3A) and (4). And you are therefore liable to the penalties which may be imposed under rule 1004(7). The horse, BILLY BADGER, is subject to a mandatory disqualification from the race under rule 1004D or rule 1004(8) and is liable to disqualification up to 5 years under rule 1004(8). Information No A6416 THAT, on 9 June 2017 John Robert DUNN (together with Robert John DUNN) being the person left in charge of the standardbred RISHI presented the horse to race in Race 2, the CAVALIER TROTTING PRODUCTS/THE POINT OF SALE CO. MOBILE PACE, at the Nelson Harness Racing Club’s meeting with a prohibited substance, namely caffeine, in its system in breach of the Prohibited Substance Rule: rules 1004(1), (1A), (3), (3A) and (4). And you are therefore liable to the penalties which may be imposed under rule 1004(7). The horse, RISHI, is subject to a mandatory disqualification from the race under rule 1004D or rule 1004(8) and is liable to disqualification up to 5 years under rule 1004(8). Information No A6417 THAT, on 9 June 2017 John Robert DUNN (together with Robert John DUNN) being the person left in charge of the standardbred HAYDEN’S MEDDLE presented the horse to race in Race 7, the HARDY'S BAR & TAB MOBILE PACE, at the Nelson Harness Racing Club’s meeting with a prohibited substance, namely caffeine, in its system in breach of the Prohibited Substance Rule: rules 1004(1), (1A), (3), (3A) and (4). And you are therefore liable to the penalties which may be imposed under Rule 1004(7). The horse, HAYDEN’S MEDDLE, is subject to a mandatory disqualification from the race under rule 1004D or rule 1004(8) and is liable to disqualification up to 5 years under rule 1004(8). Information No A6418 THAT, on 9 June 2017 John Robert DUNN (together with Robert John DUNN) being the person left in charge of the standardbred BILLY BADGER presented the horse to race in Race 10, the SPEEDY SIGNS MOBILE PACE, at the Nelson Harness Racing Club’s meeting with a prohibited substance, namely caffeine, in its system in breach of the Prohibited Substance Rule: rules 1004(1), (1A), (3), (3A) and (4). And you are therefore liable to the penalties which may be imposed under rule 1004(7). The horse, BILLY BADGER, is subject to a mandatory disqualification from the race under Rule 1004D or rule 1004(8) and is liable to disqualification up to 5 years under rule 1004(8). Information No A6419 THAT, on 11 June 2017 John Robert DUNN (together with Robert John DUNN) being the person left in charge of the standardbred BILLY BADGER, presented the horse to race in Race 8, the NELSON PINE INDUSTRIES NELSON WINTER CUP, at the Nelson Harness Racing Club’s meeting with a prohibited substance, namely caffeine, in its system in breach of the Prohibited Substance Rule: rules 1004(1), (1A), (3), (3A) and (4). And you are therefore liable to the penalties which may be imposed under rule 1004(7). The horse, BILLY BADGER, is subject to a mandatory disqualification from the race under rule 1004D or rule 1004(8) and is liable to disqualification up to 5 years under rule 1004(8). PRELIMINARY MATTERS [6] In a Minute (dated 24 February 2018), the Committee noted that it was in receipt of the Notices of Appointment, copies of the Informations, the Charge Rules and Penalty Provisions and an Authority to Charge Letter from the General Manager of the Racing Integrity Unit, Mr M Godber. It also detailed that following a teleconference on 23 February, guilty pleas were entered to all charges on behalf of the respondents. A timeframe for the provision of written Penalty Submissions from both parties was set, and they have now been complied with. As such, we are now in a position to issue a full decision. SUBMISSIONS [7] The RIU have submitted the following agreed Summary of Facts: Mr Robert John DUNN is a Public Trainer with Harness Racing New Zealand and runs two stables. Mr Robert DUNN primarily runs the North Island stable in Pukekohe while son John Robert DUNN is the stable foreman at the Woodend Beach stable. John DUNN was the person in charge of the horses that raced out of the Woodend Beach stable at the Nelson HRC meeting on 9th and 11th June 2017. Informations A6412, A6416. RISHI is a 4 year old Bay gelding and is trained by Public Trainers C D Edmonds and Miss A D Edmonds. RISHI went to the Woodend Beach stable of R J Dunn on 5 April 2017. C D & Miss A D Edmonds entered a horse movement notification for RISHI to trainer R J Dunn from 17 May 2017 to 30 May 2017 and 6 June 2017 to 11 June 2017. RISHI was owned by Miss M F Nunan. RISHI has raced 5 times for 4 wins and stakes of $19,450 as at 1 September 2017. RISHI was correctly entered and presented to race at the Nelson Harness Racing Club meeting at Richmond Park Raceway on 9 June 2017. RISHI was driven in Race 2, the CAVALIER TROTTING PRODUCTS/THE POINT OF SALE CO. MOBILE PACE by Mr J Dunn, winning the race and a stake of $5,000. Following the race the Stipendiary Stewards ordered that RISHI be post-race swabbed. The race was programmed to start at 11.38am with the gelding entering the swab box at 11.58am. Swabbing Steward Ms A Daly obtained a urine sample from the gelding at 12.00pm. The urine sample was taken in the presence of stable representative M Johnson. The urine sample was recorded with the Sample number 133342. Mr John Dunn does not contest the taking of the sample. Informations A6413, A6417. HAYDEN’S MEDDLE is a 4 year old Bay gelding and is trained at the Woodend Beach stable of Public Trainer Mr Robert John DUNN. HAYDEN’S MEDDLE is owned by W S Sparks and Mrs U I Sparks. HAYDEN’S MEDDLE has raced 22 times for 3 wins and 10 placings and stakes of $25,625 as at 1 September 2017. HAYDEN’S MEDDLE was correctly entered and presented to race by trainer Mr Dunn at the Nelson Harness Racing Club meeting at Richmond Park Raceway on 9 June 2017. HAYDEN’S MEDDLE was driven in Race 7, the HARDY’S BAR & TAB MOBILE PACE by Mr J Dunn, winning the race and a stake of $4,125. Following the race the Stipendiary Stewards ordered that HAYDEN’S MEDDLE be post-race swabbed. The race was programmed to start at 2.22pm with the gelding entering the swab box at 2.40pm. Swabbing Steward Ms A Daly obtained a urine sample from the gelding at 3.00pm. The urine sample was taken in the presence of stable representative Mr G Lane. The urine sample was recorded with the Sample number 133351. Mr John Dunn does not contest the taking of the sample. Informations A6414, A6418. BILLY BADGER is a 4 year old Bay stallion and is trained at the Woodend Beach stable of Public Trainer Mr Robert John DUNN. BILLY BADGER is owned by R K Gordon and Mrs A L Gordon. BILLY BADGER has raced 32 times for 6 wins and 8 placings and stakes of $74,328 as at 1 September 2017. BILLY BADGER was correctly entered and presented to race by trainer Mr Dunn at the Nelson Harness Racing Club meeting at Richmond Park Raceway on 9 June 2017. BILLY BADGER was driven in Race 10, the SPEEDY SIGNS MOBILE PACE by Mr J Dunn, winning the race and a stake of $4,400. Following the race the Stipendiary Stewards ordered that BILLY BADGER be post-race swabbed. The race was programmed to start at 4.04pm with the gelding entering the swab box at 4.25pm. Swabbing Steward Ms A Daly obtained a urine sample from the gelding at 4.30pm. The urine sample was taken in the presence of stable representative Mr G Lane. The urine sample was recorded with the Sample number 133345. Mr John Dunn does not contest the taking of the sample. Informations A6415, A6419. BILLY BADGER was correctly entered and presented to race by trainer Mr Dunn at the Nelson Harness Racing Club meeting at Richmond Park Raceway on 11 June 2017. BILLY BADGER was driven in Race 8, the NELSON PINE INDUSTRIES NELSON WINTER CUP by Mr J Dunn, winning the race and a stake of $6,875. Following the race the Stipendiary Stewards ordered that BILLY BADGER be post-race swabbed. The race was programmed to start at 2.59pm with the gelding entering the swab box at 3.21pm. Swabbing Steward Ms A Daly obtained a urine sample from the gelding at 3.25pm. The urine sample was taken in the presence of stable representative Mr W Sparks. The urine sample was recorded with the Sample number 133363. Mr John Dunn does not contest the taking of the sample. On the 4th July 2017 the New Zealand Racing Laboratory issued Analytical Reports indicating the presence of Caffeine in four swabs, 133342, 133345, 133351 and 133363 from the Nelson HRC meeting on 9th June and 11th June 2017. On 5th July 2017 Racing Integrity Unit Staff went to the Woodend Beach stable of Mr R Dunn, 39 Woodend Beach Road, R D 1, Kaiapoi, and advised stable foreman Mr John Dunn of the four irregular swab results returned from RISHI, HAYDEN’S MEDDLE and BILLY BADGER from the first day of the Nelson HRC meeting on 9th June 2017 and BILLY BADGER on the second day of the meeting on 11 June 2017. Mr J Dunn could not offer an explanation for the presence of Caffeine in the four swabs. Mr Dunn advised that they do not use any products that contain Caffeine. Mr Dunn and the staff were interviewed and numerous samples were taken and forwarded to the Racing Laboratory for analysis for the presence of Caffeine. Mr Dunn confirmed they had not changed any of the feed products or pre raceday treatments prior to the Nelson meeting. The horses were given boost on arriving at the course and all feed was taken to the meeting and prepared by Mr J Dunn. Precautions were taken to clean the feed bins on course prior to use. Mr Dunn provided the diary that is used to note all treatments given to the horses. None of the horses had been treated in the month prior to the race meeting. This was confirmed by the stable veterinarians from the Rangiora Vet Centre. On the 6th July 2017 the New Zealand Racing Laboratory issued Certificates of Analysis confirming the presence of Caffeine in the four swabs 133342, 133345, 133351 and 133363 from the Nelson HRC meeting on 9th June and 11th June 2017. Enquiries were made at the Richmond track and samples were taken for analysis. On 23rd August 2017 the New Zealand Racing Laboratory confirmed that none of the samples taken from the Richmond track contained Caffeine. On 24th August 2017 the New Zealand Racing Laboratory confirmed that none of the samples taken from the stable contained Caffeine. Since the notifications were received from the NZRL and to this point extensive and exhaustive investigations have been conducted by the RIU and the Respondents into the possibility of a third party being involved in the “knobbling” (the Committee assumes that the RIU refer to "nobbling"; we hereby refer to as such through the remainder of the Decision) of these horses. There was no evidence found to support this position. How the Caffeine came to be in the horses has not been established. This investigation unfortunately became public knowledge prior to the RIU visit to the Dunn stable at Woodend Beach. This “leak” was also investigated and found to have come from an overheard telephone conversation between two RIU staff members which was inadvertently overheard due to the “Bluetooth” capability of his vehicle whilst parked at the Rangiora Raceway. This has been dealt with internally. Mr R J Dunn has held a Public Trainer’s licence since 1977 and has trained over 1200 winners for stakes in excess of $13,000,000. Mr R J Dunn has had a previous breach of Rule 1004 for presenting WAIT AND SEE at the Westport TC on 28th December 2004 with an elevated TCO2 level and was fined $500. Mr J R Dunn has not held a trainers licence and was first licensed as a Junior Driver in 2000/01 and an Open Driver in 2007/08. Mr J R Dunn does not have a previous breach of Rule 1004. DECISION [8] As indicated in the Minute of the Judicial Committee dated 24 February 2018, as all charges have been admitted, we deem the charges to be proved. PENALTY SUBMISSIONS The RIU [9] For the RIU, Mr Grimstone filed written Penalty Submissions, which referred to the Sentencing Principles that are outlined in NZTR v Dyke (2008) at [2.2]; NZTR v Daly (2008). While these principles pre-date the passage of the Sentencing Act 2002, he also refers to the purposes and principles outlined in ss 7 and 8 of that Act. [10] Mr Grimstone identified that the investigation had been lengthy and detailed, due to the unusual circumstances of the positive swabs, which raised a possibility that the four horses in question had been ‘nobbled’. The RIU’s investigation had been unable to ascertain the source of the positive swabs or how the Caffeine came to be in the horses’ systems. He notes that while ‘nobbling’ cannot be ruled out, there is no evidence to support that proposition. They rely on the fact that the ‘nobbling’ aspect of the RIU investigation had been reviewed by a senior member of the Christchurch Criminal Investigation Branch, which found the RIU’s investigation to be “detailed, thorough and robust” (Para 3.4 of RIU Written Penalty Submissions dated 7 March 2018). [11] The RIU do acknowledge that neither of the respondents intentionally administered Caffeine to the horses in order to gain any competitive advantage. They found no animal remedies, or over the counter products containing Caffeine, nor evidence of any such items ever being purchased, upon inspection of the Dunn stables. [12] The RIU adopt the position, that although there are four breaches and two respondents, due to the nature of the substance and the surrounding circumstances, they should be viewed as one breach for the purpose of penalty. They also rely on the ‘totality principle’ as referred to in RIU v Finn (Para 55 of RIU v B Finn, 18 August 2015) to support this position. [13] The RIU has not specified any particular aggravating features, apart from the suggestion that the circumstances under which the four positive swabs returned a positive to Caffeine cannot be explained, despite extensive investigation. [14] In mitigation they identify that the respondents admitted the charges at the first opportunity, along with Mr J Dunn’s clear record under the rule and the fact that Mr R Dunn’s previous breach of the rule occurred in 2004. [15] The RIU have identified the cases of RIU v Whittaker (17 August 2015), RIU v Finn (18 August 2015) and RIU v Blackburn (18 August 2015)  as comparatives to the current offending. These cases span the harness and greyhound codes, but relate to instances where the prohibited substance involved was that of Caffeine. [16] In conclusion, the RIU submissions state that the culpability for a breach of the Prohibited Substance Rule can vary greatly. At one end of the spectrum there are cases where the respondent will be without fault, for example, where the trainer makes full and proper inquiries including with their vet, but received erroneous advice. The degree of culpability will be higher where there is a failure to make any enquiries and at the other end of the spectrum is where the trainer has been grossly negligent. [17] They contend that the circumstances surrounding the current charges are unique. As such, the RIU submit that due to the origin of the Caffeine remaining unknown, that this matter should sit at the mid to lower level regarding penalty. [18] Adopting the ‘totality principle’, they submit that the starting point should be a $6,000 fine, with reductions for early pleas and no previous similar breaches. They submit a total fine of $4,000 as appropriate, and do not seek any costs in this matter. The Respondents’ Penalty Submissions [19] Dr Molloy has filed written Penalty Submissions in his capacity as Lay Advocate for the respondents. [20] In those submissions, he identifies that the entire situation has been unfortunate and that the Dunns’ wish to focus on moving forward in a manner that minimises the impact that these charges have had on the Dunn stable and the wider reputation of the industry. [21] He identifies Caffeine as a ‘ubiquitous’ substance and provided documentation to support the suggestion that some equine bodies had argued that Caffeine was no longer considered as a performance enhancer. Dr Molloy goes on to suggest that Caffeine is everywhere and that the RIU could find no evidence to suggest that the Dunns’ administered or were involved in the administration of that substance. [22] In mitigation the submissions cite the early entering of guilty pleas simultaneously as the charges were laid and the fact that the Dunns had co-operated with the investigative process, assisting the RIU by providing statements and other associated documentation. Their good record was also cited, noting that the Dunns had led the harness premiership in recent times. [23] The Lay Advocate identified that as a family brand, the Dunns had been ‘shining lights’ across the standardbred code for 40 years and that both had excelled in the driving ranks, with Robert Dunn also having been an outstanding trainer of many champions. [24] Dr Molloy submitted that the RIU had found no evidence that the respondents were involved in this matter, other than that they had inadvertently presented the horses in question. No animal remedies or prescription medication containing Caffeine had been found at the Dunn stable. The Dunns had also sought to have this matter determined on the papers to minimise costs and inconvenience to all parties. [25] The respondents rely on two similar cases as comparators: RIU v Burrows (22 December 2013) and RIU v McGrath (22 December 2013) and have helpfully supplied copies of both decisions for the Committee. In both those cases, the prohibited substance in question was that of Caffeine. The only difference suggested by Dr Molloy was that the source of the Caffeine was identified in Burrows and McGrath. In both of those instances, the RIU did not pursue charges, but rather sought a ruling from the JCA for the disqualification of those runners. He submits that the same course of action should have applied in relation to the current charges. [26] Dr Molloy identifies that Mr R Dunn is the trainer of the horses in question and that Mr J Dunn ‘merely works for his father’. He also submits that the training operation is fully compliant with the New Zealand Harness Rules of Racing and specifically refers to Rule 823(2). In doing so, he suggests that the RIU “claim incorrectly that Robert trains the Auckland based team whilst John trains those based in Christchurch (sic)”. (Written Penalty Submissions of Dr Leo Molloy on behalf of the Respondents). [27] He goes on to submit that all charges against Mr J Dunn should be dismissed as there is no basis for the charges against him, and that he had no role in this matter. Further, it is suggested that a failure to do so would be “totally inappropriate, out of proportion, and grossly unfair.” (Written Penalty Submissions of Dr Leo Molloy on behalf of the Respondents). [28] In relation to penalty, Dr Molloy identifies that the Dunn brand has been “damaged beyond repair” (lbid). He also asks us to consider the fact that there is a considerable cost to the Dunns as a result of the loss of stake monies following the disqualification of the four runners. [29] We are also told that the Dunns have had to invest in surveillance systems and associated hardware at their Woodend stable as a result of these investigations. They have also incurred significant legal costs associated with advice that they had sought. Dr Molloy also questions why the RIU did not exercise rights available to them under Rules 505D, 211(2)(a), 224, 226(2)(b)(c) and 303(2) to follow up alternative avenues of investigation. [30] In summary, Dr Molloy’s written submissions sought a minimal penalty along with the dismissal of charges against Mr J Dunn “...simply because he’s not the trainer of these horses, never has been, and thus he should never have been charged with these offenses (sic). The RIU can give no rational or reasonable explanation as to why John has been charged.”  (lbid) [31] He also concurs with the RIU that if a financial penalty is to be imposed, then there should only be one penalty. The Lay Advocate described the RIU submission of a $4,000 fine as “risible” and referred specifically to the Australian Kavanagh and O’Brien cases. In those cases, multiple presentation offences involving cobalt attracted $4,000 and $8,000 penalties. REASONS FOR PENALTY [32] The Committee has considered all of the submissions placed before it and is grateful to both parties for the provision of written penalty submissions along with relevant decisions that they have referred to in those submissions. We have also been referred to an extensive number of previous cases, which we have reviewed, alongside other cases of relevance. [33] These charges relate to the Nelson Harness Racing Club’s Meetings in June 2017. While there has been some passage of time since this event, the relevant documentation was lodged with the JCA in late February. This lengthy time frame prior to lodgement indicates that attempts have obviously been made to fully explore matters during the investigation process. [34] It is clear that Messrs R Dunn and J Dunn have been involved in the harness racing industry over many years. They have entered guilty pleas to all charges, and the Committee proceeds to consider what is an appropriate penalty on that basis. [35] While the agreed Summary of Facts provides the context surrounding the charges, the Penalty Submissions of both parties have required a detailed level of analysis by this Committee. We also note that we are also very familiar with the Sentencing Principles that have been identified in the RIU’s submissions. [36] It is clear that the source of the Caffeine has been unable to be determined or explained, despite what appears to have been a vigorous and robust level of investigation. An inability to identify the source is not unusual in Prohibited Substance cases and is not peculiar to this case. In light of this, there obviously remains the possibility that the Dunns’ cannot be excluded as being responsible. The suggestion that the horses in question had been ‘nobbled’ has been reviewed by a member of the Police’s Criminal Investigations Branch and we are told that as a result, there appears to be no evidence to confirm that position. [37] The comparable cases that the RIU have submitted have one thing in common: the prohibited substance in each was that of Caffeine. While those cases are of some interest, they differ in that the source of the Caffeine was able to be identified in each of those cases. That is quite different to the circumstances surrounding the current breaches. The Committee has also referred to the decision of RIU v CD & AD Edmonds, 2016. In that case, the source of the prohibited substance, namely Ketoprofen, could not be determined, so has been of interest to us. [38] Dr Molloy has suggested that the cases of Burrows and McGrath are suitable comparisons. We reject that submission. Both of those cases relate to a ‘Request for a Ruling’ from the JCA, not a charge alleging a breach of the Rules. The prosecutorial discretion lies with the RIU as the Prosecuting Agency as to whether or not charges are laid. As indicated in the Letter authorising the charges, the RIU General Manager Mr Godber had indicated that: “After considering all the circumstances put forward…” (Authority to Charge Letter circulated to all parties, dated 20 February 2018), in relation to these charges, he authorised the lodging of the charges against Mr R Dunn and Mr J Dunn. Consequently, the Respondents have entered guilty pleas to all charges. [39] At para 11 of Burrows, it indicates that: “Syncrofen is an additive that is sold in feed merchants and on line in New Zealand. It is manufactured by SYNCROFLEX, a Blenheim based company that makes supplements to “support the human body as well as the canine & equine friend/ athlete during hard and demanding work and or simply to maintain and compliment a balanced diet to support optimum health and perform to full potential.” The product was advertised as “the natural and safe alternative, 100% free of banned substances, safe for competitions”. The content of para 11 of the Burrows decision was also evident in the McGrath decision (para 15). [40] Further, at para 13 of Burrows, it identifies that "Mr Burrows advised that he had asked his Vet, Mr Mike Brown, about “Syncrofen” and whether it would be safe to use on his horses. Mr Brown advised that it appeared safe to use.” The same advice was tendered by the trainer’s vet in McGrath (para 17). [41] It is clear that the source of the Caffeine (Syncrofen) was known in both of those cases, a point of difference with the current case, and the trainers were not regarded as being at fault. [42] While we have looked at the specific rules that Dr Molloy has referred to in paragraph [29] of this decision, we do not need to consider the inability of the RIU to exercise its regulatory discretion to follow up any of the alternative avenues of investigation that he suggests, as that is irrelevant for the purposes of determining penalty. [43] In a similar vein, Dr Molloy invites us to dismiss the charges that Mr J Dunn is facing, submitting that he has no responsibility for these offences. We find it curious that this request has been promulgated at this stage of proceedings as Mr J Dunn has accepted his responsibility via his guilty pleas. To indicate otherwise could be seen as a lack of remorse; however, we do not intend to delve further into that line of thought. It seems appropriate for us to again refer to Rule 1004(3A) which states: “When a person is left in charge of a horse and the horse is presented to race in contravention of sub-rule (1A) or (2) the trainer of the horse and  (emphasis added) the person left in charge both commit a breach of these Rules.” [44] In this context it is not an ‘either or’ situation, as both the trainer and the person left in charge bear responsibility. It is accepted that Mr J Dunn was the person “left in charge of a horse” and that the horses were “presented to race in contravention of sub-rule (1A)” at the Nelson HRC Meetings on 9 and 11 June 2017. Accordingly we decline the request to dismiss the charges against Mr J Dunn at this late stage of proceedings. [45] It is accepted that these are ‘presentation’ offences, rather than the more serious ‘administration’ offences. The RIU submit that due to the nature of the substance and the surrounding circumstances, this should be viewed as one breach for the purposes of penalty. We disagree. Effectively, three horses have been affected over four races, and all four races were won by the horses in question. All of the affected horses are owned by different connections, who have had to refund any stake monies they had received, as a result of the requirement to disqualify their horses from the Nelson HRC Meetings in June 2017. [46] We are not persuaded that the loss of stake monies as a result of the horses’ disqualifications, allegedly coming at a considerable cost to the Dunns, is to be considered as a significant factor in mitigation. As articulated in RIU v Bambry  (at para [37] of RIU v A Bambry, December 2017) we place little weight on this submission as any financial benefits gained were as a result of not racing in accordance with the Rules; by being presented to race with the Prohibited Substance Caffeine in the horses’ systems. This is part of the proper process as a result of the requirement to disqualify the horses from the races. [47] While it appears that the source of the Caffeine is unable to be identified, despite intensive investigation, the fact remains that RISHI, HAYDEN’S MEDDLE and BILLY BADGER have been presented to race in four races with a prohibited substance in their system. The strict liability lies with Mr R Dunn as the trainer and Mr J Dunn as the person left in charge to ensure that the horses were presented to race free of Caffeine. They have not discharged that responsibility and have pleaded guilty to all eight charges. We accept that the culpability for a breach of the Prohibited Substance Rule can vary greatly, but in our assessment, given the multiple nature of this failure, we place the level of offending at above the mid-range. [48] We also reject any suggestion that “the Dunn brand has been damaged beyond repair” (Respondents' Written Penalty Submissions). It is clear that the Dunns are long-standing industry participants; Context is important to any judicial matter, and it is evident that the RIU have accepted that they are unable to determine with certainty how the Caffeine came to be present in the horses’ systems. In our view, this does not lead to damage to a licence holder’s reputation to the extent put to us by Dr Molloy. [49] While we agree that the ‘totality principle’ is an appropriate consideration; we take the view that in the circumstances specific to this case, that principle can best be engaged when considering penalty, rather than when considering whether it would be more appropriate to treat the four positives as one breach. While the nature of the substance is relevant, and Dr Molloy points out that Caffeine is ubiquitous, we also note that it remains a prohibited substance under the Rules (New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing). [50] Previous cases, have identified that there are a number of approaches when arriving at an appropriate penalty for multiple breaches. In RIU v Lynch (RIU v A L J Lynch, 16 October 2015), when referring to another case, the RIU identified that: “In RIU v B Towers (15 May 2015), which related to 2 charges where the Defendant Towers failed to present his horse free of the prohibited substance namely Clenbuterol, the Committee in its written decision considered options for determining penalty for multiple charges. The Committee in Towers referred to RIU v McInerney noting that it was submitted to support the submission that when setting a quantum, the Committee could look to set the financial penalty for the second breach at a level which was half that of the original breach. An approach in line with that adopted in McInerney supports the view that to impose a quantum for each breach, albeit resulting from the same on-going action. As with the Beck decision the circumstances of Towers are slightly different to the present case, albeit the discussion on rationale for decision making offers something for this Committee to consider in determining penalty quantum for all 3 charges.”  (Emphasis added). [51] We have also reviewed and considered the Edmonds case, in which the respondents remained unaware of how the prohibited substance (Ketoprofen) came to be in the horse’s system. That case centred around one horse returning a positive on two occasions; 15 and 29 January 2016. In Edmonds, the RIU identified the JCA Penalty Guidelines starting point of an $8,000 fine for a first ‘presentation’ offence, and that was the final quantum they sought. The Committee in that case was unable to, on the facts, reach any conclusion as to how the prohibited substance came to be present in the samples taken (at para 28 of RIU v CD & AD Edmonds, 2016). [52] Further approaches regarding the application of the starting point for each breach in a multiple-breach situation have been articulated in RIU v Dalgety, 16  May 2017 and the recent case of RIU v Brosnan, 13 February 2018. In the Brosnan decision, the Committee stated: “As already noted the penalty guide proposes a fine of $8,000 for a so-called first presentation. If that were applied in respect of each of the three (3) breaches the fine would be $24,000.” The Committee then went on to apply a discount for mitigating factors, arriving at a fine of $19,000. [53] The JCA Penalty Guidelines identify a starting point of a $8,000 fine for a first ‘presentation’ offence. Given the eight charges relate to three horses over four races, we consider it appropriate to adopt a hybrid approach when determining an appropriate starting point. [54] The RIU have sought a total fine of $4,000 for this offending. In our view, that submission is far too lenient when the specific circumstances of this offending is taken into consideration. In our assessment, a total fine at this level for eight charges would fail to have regard to the very sentencing principles that the RIU have placed before us. [55] We have considered the two very recent cases of RIU v KD Townley, 12 March 2018 and RIU v BR Negus, 20 March 2018  where the prohibited substance was that of Ketoprofen. Each of those decisions involved only one horse in a singular race, for which the RIU in each case sought a monetary penalty of a $6,000 fine. The end result in Townley was a $7,000 fine and in Negus a $5,500 fine. [56] When these and other penalties, such as those applied in Edmonds and Brosnan, are considered alongside the $4,000 penalty being sought by the RIU, we consider the RIU submission to be significantly disproportionate to penalties applied for similar prohibited substance offending. [57] In a Minute (dated 26 March 2018) we provided the RIU with the opportunity to elucidate and/or expand on the rationale and reasoning that informed the position they had adopted in submitting a total fine of $4,000 as appropriate. [58] Their response (dated 27 March 2018), also made available to Dr Molloy, identified the following: “The J.C.A penalty guide provides for a starting point of an $8000 fine for first presentation in Harness and Thoroughbred Racing Codes. In this case the R.I.U took a reduction of 25% on the J.C.A penalty guide reflecting the R.I.U’s view that the positive result was a contamination but the R.I.U could not rule out third party involvement.”  (Para 3 of Informant's Further Penalty Submissions, 27 March 2018). “From that starting point the R.I.U considered a $4000 fine was reasonable, taking into account the trainers good record as previously mentioned, and that they pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity.”  (Para 4 of Informant's Further Penalty Submissions, 27 March 2018). [59] After considering those further Penalty Submissions, we maintain the view that the position of the RIU still fails to have regard to the multiple nature of these breaches. While the RIU indicate that they could not rule out third party involvement, we make the observation that that is often a consideration in presentation breaches where the source of the prohibited substance is not known. In this particular case, while a possibility, we are not prepared to make such a definitive finding. [60] In our view, we consider it appropriate to apply the $8,000 JCA Penalty Guidelines figure in respect of each of the breaches for RISHI, HAYDEN’S MEDDLE and BILLY BADGER on 9 June 2017. In relation to the second breach for BILLY BADGER on 11 June 2017, we apply a $4,000 figure; which is half of the starting point for BILLY BADGER’s first breach. This results in an initial starting point of a $28,000 fine. When we apply an appropriate adjustment to reflect the circumstances surrounding these breaches in accordance with the ‘totality principle’, we reduce that figure by just over one-third to $18,600. This becomes our amended starting point. [61] In mitigation, we have considered the early admissions of the breaches, the co-operation of the Dunns with the RIU investigation process, along with the previous records of both respondents, as confirmed by the RIU. While Mr R Dunn has a previous breach of the Prohibited Substance Rule (specifically Rule 1004), this dates back to 2004 and given the number of horses he has trained since then, we attach little weight to it for the purposes of this penalty. For these combined factors, we apply a discount of approximately 25 percent to the $18,600 starting point, resulting in a total fine of $14,000. This total is to be apportioned equally across both respondents. Having regard to the specific circumstances of these breaches, we consider this penalty to be fair, reasonable and proportionate to the offending. PENALTY [62] The end result is a total fine of $14,000, which is to be equally apportioned across both respondents. As such, Mr RJ Dunn is fined the sum of $7,000. Mr JR Dunn is also fined the sum of $7,000. COSTS [63] The RIU have indicated they are not seeking any costs, which is a generous position to adopt. While these charges have been dealt with on the papers, there has been a cost to the JCA. Each Respondent is ordered to make a partial contribution to JCA costs, that sum is set at $500 each. ORDERS [64] The disqualification of the four horses in question (RISHI, HAYDEN’S MEDDLE, BILLY BADGER and BILLY BADGER) has already been made under the provision of Rule 1004D, which was directed in an Order of the Judicial Committee dated 24 February 2018. Signed at Palmerston North this 28th day of March 2018. Mr Tangi Utikere Chairman   HARNESSLINK MEDIA

The Robert Dunn Racing Stable has accepted the charges laid by the Racing Integrity Unit in relation to the return of positive swabs from the Nelson Winter Cup two-day meeting in June. The Judicial Control Authority for Racing confirmed yesterday that the Dunn stable accepted the charges. A judicial committee are currently looking over the case and a disciplinary decision is expected in the coming weeks. The Dunn stable is charged with presenting horses with a banned substance. They returned four positive swabs for caffeine at the Nelson meeting which took place from June 9 to 11. Three of the horses which tested positive were directly from the Dunn stable, while the fourth was from Craig and Aimee Edmonds’ stable. However, that horse was under the care of the Dunn stable, which took it to Nelson. Dunn has previously claimed the horses were nobbled – where the caffeine is administered by an outside party. His claim caused rifts within the Canterbury harness racing community. He also enlisted the help of a private investigator to undertake his own investigation. The Dunn stable is currently second in the harness racing trainer’s premiership with 55 wins – 17 behind Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. Robert Dunn has three previous convictions for breaches of the prohibited substance rule.   By  Gordon Findlater   Reprinted with permission of Star.Kiwi site  

Henry Hubert didn't like his one draw at Wyndham today (Sunday). After being well off the gate when it dispatched in the Nuggets Final, starter Ben Ward deemed that the horse behind Henry Hubert - Franco Rebel, was disadvantaged at the start and he called a false start. Henry Hubert was then sent to the outside of the second row for the re-run. But at the end of the day it didn't matter. Driver John Dunn settled the three year old last after the early rush with Vin Scully taking up the early lead. At the 1000 metre mark Dunn followed up a couple of improving horses and was putting the pressure on Vin Scully at the 800 metres. At the 600 metres Henry Hubert had taken the lead and there he stayed beating Vin Scully by two and a quarter lengths.  Easy winner in the rain - Henry Hubert - Photo Bruce Stewart. "The last two weeks he's drawn one which was probably the worst I could have drawn. He's been really good from outside the front line. There's no need for it (his behaviour) but he'll come to it," said Dunn. The Group Two Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes in April on Diamonds Day is certainly one of the Bettor's Delight colt's late season aims.  "He's got the ability but his manners and his gate manners would need to improve for us to bring him down. But that's definitely the aim. He went massive in the Sires Stakes Consolation getting home in the sectionals like he did."  Dunn was full of praise for the Southern Harness scene, complimenting the area on it's various series. "We have Pitch Black trained by father in-law (Craig Edmonds with his daughter Aimee) and Borntobeastar which we hope to bring down for the Southland Trotting Oaks."  The $20,000 feature will be held at the Northern Southland Trotting Club's feature day on Saturday 10th March. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

A leading harness racing stable under investigation for doping has enlisted a controversial restaurateur and private detective to help fight the case. Robert Dunn Harness Racing Stables, headed by Robert Dunn and his son John Dunn, has been the subject of a Racing Integrity Unit investigation which has dragged on for seven months. Four horses in the care of the of the stable returned positive swabs containing caffeine which were taken at the Nelson Winter Cup two-day meeting on June 9 and 11. The Dunns have claimed that the horses were nobbled – the caffeine was administered by an outside party. The claim has caused rifts within the Canterbury harness racing community, with those accused of the nobbling threatening their own legal action. Racing Integrity Unit general manager Mike Godber told The Star yesterday the investigation had been completed. But the decision on whether to charge the Dunns has been delayed for two weeks after Robert Dunn requested more time for a private investigator he has enlisted to complete his own inquiries. The private investigator, Simon Lamond, a former Christchurch police detective now based in Auckland, refused to talk to The Star. But his brother-in-law, controversial restaurateur and former jockey Leo Molloy, who is also making inquiries for the Dunns, believed the horses had been nobbled. Mr Molloy is the sister of TV reality queen Dame Julie Christie – the wife of Mr Lamond. “There is zero chance they weren’t nobbled,” said Mr Molloy. “I don’t think anyone believes the Dunns did it. “It’s an unfortunate situation. All I will say is that I hope whoever did it is held accountable. “My role is very minor and I really have little to offer. I have strong feelings about it but not always based on cold, hard facts.” West Coast-born Mr Molloy is a former jockey-turned-veterinarian who became a millionaire with his first venture into the hospitality trade, a student bar called the Fat Lady’s Arms in Palmerston North. He then co-founded the popular Euro Restaurant and Bar in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour. Mr Molloy has also previously helped trainers under investigation by the Racing Integrity Unit. But he is often in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons, including: • Launching a string of personal attacks against a tattooed man who was denied service at a bar he owned on the Viaduct Harbour. • Getting into a heated Facebook stoush with a MasterChef contestant. Mr Molloy and Mr Lamond would not say who had engaged them to investigate. Said Mr Lamond: “Talk to Robert Dunn.” Neither Robert or John Dunn returned calls to The Star. But when The Star spoke to Robert Dunn in July he suspected foul play and believed that the horses had been nobbled. He was not at the race meeting in Nelson when the horses returned positive swabs. He has been based at his Pukekohe stables for the past five years, with John overseeing the Woodend stables where three of the four horses were from.   By  Gordon Findlater   Reprinted with permission of The Star.Kiwi

Canterbury harness racing trainer Robert Dunn has a big team of horses engaged tonight at Addington and also has two runners entered at Alexandra Park. Robert thought the best chance of all his runners tonight was Alta Maestro in the NRM Sires Stakes heat at Addington, when speaking to TAB bookmaker Stephen Richardson today about his team and their chances tonight at both venues. " Alta Maestro has been getting back in his races from the draws but hopefully he can land further forward tonight. If he can lead then I think whatever beats him will win",he said,  "Last season he struggled a bit with tie up issues but I am much happier with him now and he is relishing the beach training". Robert speaks about his Addington runners: Race 2   Mahksman  - "I am very happy with the horse. Funatthebeach looks very hard to beat, but I give our horse a good chance of finishing in a place the way it is working at home".  Race 3  Woodstone  -  " John said it got a bit of a check last start but was travelling well at the time. I could see it finishing in the first four if it did everything right." Race 4  Better Chance - " The draw will help and she has been working well. Place chance"               Lovetodream - "Is as sit and sprint type of horse and might have to go back at the start from the wide barrier. The draw is a concern but she is well"               American Tart - "She is trialing well and is ready to go a big race.  She is targeting a 4yo listed mares race on show day but  I expect her to be in the first two tonight". Race 5  Foreverman - "He should go a good race and the field is not overly strong. The run at Kaikoura will have topped him off nicely". Race 6   Alta Orlando - " He is up against some tough opposition and will need luck in that field" Race 7   De Lancome - "Up against some good fillies and the draw is good but she will improve with the run" Race 8   Alta Maestro - "He has been getting back in his races from the draws but hopefully he can land further forward tonight. If he can lead then I think whatever beats him will win",he said,  "Last season he struggled a bit with tie up issues but I am much happier with him now and he is relishing the beach training".                Henry Hubert - "He is probably six months away from showing his best and a very strong field here".                The Brooklyn Brawler - "The draw is against him and he might struggle from there, especially if the pace is on".  Race 9   Yagunnakissmeornot - "She has never really gone that well left handed but I am happy with her. She can run a place with luck in the running"   Alexandra Park Race 4   Wrangler - "I was a bit disappointed with him last start but his bloods came back ok. I expect him to run in the first three with the drop in class". Race 6   Dreams To Reality - "He has a good draw and is working well. He will race forward and if he could find the lead he wont be far away"   Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)  

Pukekohe harness racing trainer Ray Green has trained the quinella in the first heat of the NRM Sires Stakes Series at Cambridge Raceway last night. Breeders Crown winner King Of Swing led all the way in the hands of Philip Butcher to narrowly beat the Green trained stablemate Recco Lover by a short margin. The winner paced the 1700m journey in a 1-56.0 mile rate with a closing 800m in 56.0 and the final 400m in 27.1 seconds.  King Of Swing (Rocknroll Hanover - Twist And Twirl) and Recco Lover (Bettor's Delight - Castellina Lover) have both qualified for the $170,000 Group One Final at Addington on November 14. The Robert Dunn trained Alta Maestro, who was the TAB favourite in last nights race sat parked and faded to finish last. Tim Vince trained a double at last nights meeting when both Drover's Eyre and Romanite won their respective races.  Romanite won the amateur drivers race and paced a quick 1-57.4 mile rate when winning over 1700m in the hands of Sheree Wigg. The Art Official gelding zipped over his last 800m in 55.7 seconds to beat the Vince trained stablemate Curlimore. Drover's Eyre led all the way when winning the highest rated race of the night for junior driver Jack McKinnon. The Falcon Seelster eight year old was having his 87th start, but showed there was still some pep left in his legs with a 56.4 closing 800m off the back of a 2-01.3 mile rate for the standing start 2200m. King Of Swing winning last night Harnesslink Media

Ray Green is not stupid --- which means Breeders Crown winner King Of Swing will try for an all the way win at Cambridge tonight. The exciting three-year-old has drawn the ace in the first heat of what looks a very even Sires’ Stakes series, with the northern crop having way more depth than recent season. Already King Of Swing has won at group one level, as has race rival Mach Shard while Alta Maestro paced a couple of national records last season and returned with a win against older horses at Alexandra Park last Friday. There is little between the trio or their other three rivals tonight but early season Sires’ Stakes heats tend to be dominated by leaders and trailer as the sprint distance and reluctance for fresh horses to be given hard runs can often mean those up front get handed the race. Alta Maestro showed blistering gate speed last season but trainer Robert Dunn was keen to see him driven less aggressively when he won last Friday and if he opts for similar tactics tonight then King Of Swing should lead, always crucial in a Cambridge sprint. And Green says that will be the plan, especially after King Of Swing led to win the $300,000 Breeders Crown at Melton in late August.  “We would be stupid not to use the ace draw around Cambridge so that will be the plan,” says Green.  “He only had a week off after the Breeders and won well at the workouts last Saturday so I think he is ready for a 1:55 mile rate this week.” While Alta Maestro is an obvious danger, Green thinks his stable second stringer Recco Lover could trail and have an upset hope. “He has very good speed and isn’t much inferior, if at all, to King Of Swing. So if he trails he has a good hope.”  Mach Shard returns after a great start to last season but having little luck later and trainer Barry Purdon knows he faces a huge task from barrier five.  “We have seen enough of these Sires’ Stakes heats at Cambridge to know how hard they can be to win if there is no pressure so I am hoping they have a go at each other early,” says Purdon.  The heat is strangely not a leg of tonight’s $100,000 Pick6, one that lacks any real anchors but also has a few legs with only two or three major chances so it worth attacking.  The problem child for Pick6 punters is Agincourt, who should win the last leg on raw ability but whose manners have let punters down twice in as many starts. He should be anchored on one ticket but well covered on another. Michael Guerin

The field for todays PGG Wrightson Hannon Memorial at Oamaru has been reduced down to a field of seven, with the latest scratching of the Greg and Nina Hope trained Usain Colt, who has been sold to Australia.  Hope still has the current second favourite Seel The Deal engaged in the race. He is a big mover on the FF win fixed odds, caving in to $3.80 after opening longer than $5.00 on Thursday night. There is a lot of confidence in the Hope stable that Seel The Deal can go a cheeky race today, in preparation for the New Zealand Trotting Cup in November. Driver Ricky May is also quietly confident about the seven year old geldings chances and said "he could need the run without any racing, but I like him a lot in that race" Seel The Deal has been ticking along nicely at the trials and workouts. He ran slashing final sectionals at the Rangiora trials on the 13th September, running home in around 55 seconds for his last 800m in that Rangiora trial. Race rival Alta Orlando trained by Robert Dunn, zipped over his last 800m in a tick over 54 seconds in the same trial, also justifying his readiness for todays race.  The Graeme Anderson trained and Dexter Dunn driven Titian Banner is currently the warm favourite ($1.65 FF) to win the Hannon Memorial, after an easy win fresh up at Addington on the 1st September and then a good second placing to Have Faith In Me in last weekends New Brighton Cup. Seel The Deal and Alta Orlando in their latest trial   Robert Dunn also has the speedy Tuapeka Trick engaged today in Race 6 with John Dunn doing the driving. Tuapeka Trick was placed last season in the group three kindergarten stakes behind stable-mate The Brooklyn Brawler and has come back a stronger horse judging by his latest dominant win at the workouts. The well bred Bettor's Delight colt is raced by the Westview Racing Super17 Syndicate, many of whom are heading down to watch the race today.     Harnesslink Media

High-class kiwi pacer Franco Nelson is moving to Australia. Trainer Shane Tritton confirmed the son of Christian Cullen would arrive at his Menangle stable on Friday. "It's exciting to have a horse of his calibre join the team. I know he's in the twilight of his career, but he raced in great form last season and has been out for a good break," he said. "I'm certainly not thinking he's joining the stable with retirement just around the corner. Quite the opposite, the handicapping system here is great for extending the careers and creating opportunities for horses like him. "And I've got a good record of rejuvenating older horses like him if you take a like through Mach Beauty, Suave Stuey Lombo and others." Tritton said the McKay clan, majority owners of Franco Nelson, initiated the move. "The McKays had horses with my Dad (Peter) and have sent me one already. They have said for a while they are keen to support me," he said. Franco Nelson hasn't raced since a second to Addington on May 12 when trained by Robert and John Dunn. He's battled injuries through his career, but still managed 65 starts for 18 wins, 22 placings and earned $758,127. "He ran some great races last season, including that unlucky fifth in the Inter Dominion final," Tritton said. "He's been out spelling so we are getting him from scratch. The aim is to have him back and primed for the Miracle Mile Carnival." In other stable news, Tritton is focused on a Perth Inter Dominion raid with the speedy Yayas Hot Spot. "I want to time-trial him at Penrith this Thursday night then I think we will go first-up into the Smoken Up (Melton, October 6) then the Victoria Cup (October 14)," he said. "Then it's onto Perth where he will love the tight track. Tritton's star four-year-old of last season Salty Robyn is recovering from surgery following an acute bout of colic. And his former glamour mare Arms Of An Angel is close to a racetrack return. "That's got us all excited. She's only a month away," he said. Adam Hamilton

Rookie Rangiora trainer Mitchell Kerr has two potential Derby contenders and a perfect three wins from three starts to open the new harness racing season. Kerr, 25, is in his first full season as a trainer based at Rangiora Raceway and produced impressive Addington three-year-old winner The Dorchester on Friday night, followed by another exciting three-year-old in Alta Shelby, who scored easily at Oamaru on Sunday. He also trains four-year-old American Ideal gelding Run Boy Run, who won well at Oamaru. “It’s been a lucky start really. I’m still pinching myself,’’ Kerr said on Monday. The Dorchester, by Mach Three, is the first foal of five-win Falcon Seelster mare Meet Me In Mayfair. “He’s got a big motor there and a lot of natural ability … I think he’ll go a long way but he’s as green as grass. “He was going to win by two or three lengths, but knocked off and started pissing round. He’s got a lot to learn,’’ said Kerr. The colt settled back and moved up parked at the 800m at Addington, but ran greenly in the last 200m for leading driver Blair Orange, hanging on to beat Benhope Rulz by a head and deny rookie junior driver Ben Hope his first race win.  The Dorchester ($1.60) clocked 2:25.8 (mobile 1950m), with his last 800m in 55.7s and the 400m in 26.9. “He’s paid up for all the big three-year-old races so hopefully he keeps improving,’’ said Kerr. “It was his first time off the place, apart from the Rangiora workouts where I train from.  ‘’There was a bit of an unknown factor on Friday night, but he delivered which was great.’’ Alta Shelby, a half-brother by Mach Three to Alta Orlando (six wins, 2014 Sales Series winner), is also a potential Derby contender and was never out of second gear winning at Oamaru for driver Matt Anderson.  “The more racing he has the better he’ll be,’’ said Kerr.  Kerr is the son of veteran Ohoka-based trainer Paul Kerr, who gets the young horses up and going before sending them to Mitchell for the last two months of their build-up to racing. ‘’Dad had him [Alta Shelby] originally and had a good opinion of him. His manners are improving all the time.’’ Anderson, who recently left the Mark Purdon-Natalie Rasmussen All Stars stable, helps Kerr in the mornings at Rangiora and the trainer is keen to give him more chances.  “He’s a good wee driver with a future. He’s really neat, looks good in the cart and makes good decisions.’’ Anderson gave Run Boy Run a dream run in the trail and he scored nicely in the junior drivers’ race at Oamaru, clocking 3.15 for the mobile 2600m, his last 800m in 56.9s. “He’s been knocking on the door and was really unlucky [third when late clear] at Rangiora the start before. He’s developed into a nice horse and won it pretty easily.’’ The Dorchester will probably head to the Kurow meeting at Oamaru on August 20, while Alta Shelby will target Addington. ‘’The Dorchester has the edge at this stage on ability, but they are both really nice horses.’’ Kerr says talented four-win pacer Forgotten Highway is ‘’coming up really good’’ after a short spell. “Hopefully, we can get him to the New Zealand Cup meeting and up to Auckland in December.’’ Kerr has previously worked for his father, Robert Dunn at Woodend Beach and Gareth Dixon in Auckland, going out on his own full time this season after securing 10 boxes and a barn at Rangiora Raceway and developing the outside yards and paddocks, before moving the horses in about June 20. “Dad does the young ones and jogs them up - then they come over to me for the last couple of months. It works out really good.’’ Kerr has driven 112 winners since 2009, but always wanted to train on his own. “I have always really loved the training side of it … Dad pretty much taught me everything I know and you just sort of take the good points from trainers like Gareth Dixon and Robert Dunn and mould it all together with your own ideas.’’ With his blue and yellow colours atop the national premiership early on, he has made the ideal start. NZ Harness News http://www.theinformant.co.nz/

Roxburgh breeder Bill Bain has been involved in animal genetics most of his life. It just happens that he’s gone from breeding award winning sheep, to breeding and racing Standardbreds. Bill is a fourth generation farmer in the Roxburgh district, and prior to retirement farmed five miles south of Roxburgh on a 1500 acre block. He also had a runoff block which backed onto the Old Man Range. For years he successfully bred Corriedales continuing on with the breed that had been started by his late father Arnold. “It’s a New Zealand breed that started in the 1890s. Dad started a stud in the early 1940s. When I left school at the end of 1960 I wanted to get into them a bit more. Dad had sixty ewes. I’ve been share farming for the last ten years with the Wilsons in West Melton and we got up to five to six hundred ewes,” he said. Bain started showing his stock at A & P Shows in the Central Otago area in the early days before heading to the Christchurch shows in 1970. “In 1971 I took two sheep there and blow me down I ended up getting two red tickets (first prizes). In 1974 there was a World Conference in Christchurch and I took out first woolly sheep at the show and he ended up scooping the pool. And it was also named champion.” Sheep bred by Bain still go to the shows but are now under his breeding partner’s name of GR and RW Wilson.   In the 1970s Bain also started a Dorset Downs Stud and for fifteen years he held a one day sale on his farm, selling up to 120 rams at each sale. “I think we were averaging seven to eight hundred dollars. That was really good money for sheep then.” The high point of those sales was receiving nine thousand dollars for one ram selling a half share in another for ten thousand dollars. Always in amongst the sheep there were horses which were mainly ridden as hacks on the farm. “My father had gallopers with Hec Anderton. We always used to make good lucerne hay. I tried to keep it for my rams but he always kept the best for his horses. His best galloper was Harkaway. It only won one race but he thought he’d won the Melbourne Cup I think. He started to breed off her but she had twins and that was the finish of her.”  Arnold Bain was also the first Clerk of the Course for the Roxburgh Trotting Club so there was an early connection to the local Standardbred community. Bill’s brother-in-law Norman Sinclair who lived at Lincoln, got Bill and his wife Pauline interested in racing. “He got Pauline and I a horse called Reklaw’s Girl in the early 2000s. She was bred by Merv Walker. We gave it to Alan Parker to train. We took her to her first race meeting and she came home in the middle of the field. At her second start she came flying home and got third. Someone wanted to buy her but I said ‘no way.’ It took 26 starts before she won (laughter).”   In 2001 Bill and Pauline decided to retire from the farm handing it over to their son David. Tragically he was killed in a car accident shortly after. The following year they sold the farm. In amongst the racing of horses Bill Bain progressed his interest in the breeding side and in 2006 he bought into Presidential Ball mare Onedin Dancer. “Geoff and Jude Knight had been given this filly to break in by Lynley Stockdale. After she qualified they wanted to put her on the market, so I approached them to see whether they would sell a half share. I finished up buying Lynley out. She (Onedin Dancer) had a lot more ability than she showed.” She won twice as a three year old before being retired at four at which point they started breeding from her. Onedin Dancer was well enough bred being a half -sister to Onedin Crusader (the winner of seven here and a further 15 in Western Australia) and Onedin Legacy who’s nine wins included an Invercargill Cup. Of the foals she (Onedin Dancer) has left, Changeover gelding Onedin Onyx has been the best of her foals, winning six races. In the years that followed, Bain bought more of the Stockdale’s Onedin line including Washington VC mare Ashanna who had won three races in the North Island for Mike Stormont. “We won two more races at Forbury that winter then I put her to stud. I also bought the last of the Onedin line Stylish Onedin. She’s been the best mare for me at the sales. Her foals have sold for reasonable money. Her best has been Onedin Mach who won ten here and was sold to America. She’s got a full brother foal to Onedin Mach at foot.” Stylish Onedin a Stand Together mare won twice. She’s also left a couple of very good race horses in Onedin Hustler which won seven races for Peter Hunter and has gone on to do a good job in Australia winning another seventeen. After taking horses to the sales and getting moderate returns Bain realised that he had to look at buying into more modern families and in 2009 he sorted out five well-bred fillies at the Christchurch sale and headed north with a $30,000 budget. At the end of the second day of the sale he got what he finally wanted. “I was looking at buying a filly that was well bred with a mother that had won races with a good time. I was told not to spend too much so we bought Pembrook’s Delight.” Friend Judy Campbell was bought into the partnership and the Bettor’s Delight filly began her racing career as a three year old. As a four year old she was in her prime winning five races that season including the $150,000 Group One 2012 Four Year Old Mares Diamond at Cambridge. “We were rapt just to have one in the race. Pauline and I had just come back from South America. Geoff (co-trainer Geoff Knight) had rung me a couple of weeks before, after she had a run at Addington where she went terrible. They found out she was dehydrated. I rang him when we got into Auckland and he said ‘she’s just worked super.’ Matty was told to go to the front and hand up to one horse (Bettor Cover Lover). It worked out perfectly. I didn’t realise she’d won because we were back a bit from the winning post. Just to get a place for us was good enough. To win we were over the moon. I’m not a big bettor but I got her at fixed odds of 51 to 1. I got enough to shout for the locals when we got home. We took the cup and cover down to the pub. It was a good night for the district.” Pembrook’s Delight ended up winning nine races before heading to stud. Her first foal by Somebeachsomewhere (named Beach Boy) was sold to Michael House who reoffered him last year at his Ready to Run sale. He remains unsold. “I spoke to Michael and he said he was going well. He got a bit crook. It took him a long time to get over the sales. He said he’s turned down $50,000 for him. He said they’ll have to pay more than that for him now.” Her next foal, a filly by Art Major, was bought by Robert Dunn at this year’s sale. “Although we only got $35,000 for her I don’t think she was too dear at all.” Her latest foal is another filly by Art Major. Although he still has a handful of young progeny from his older mares Bain freely admits that the Onedin horses have probably served their purpose and it’s time to move on and head in a more commercial direction. “It’s probably an old fashioned breed. But if you want to sell at the sales you’ve got to have a bit more background.” To that end he has recently bought two very well bred mares. Heart Stealer was bought at the 2013 Australian Classic Yearling Sale for $95,000. He now shares in the ownership with his wife Pauline and friend Doug Gollan. She’s a five year old mare by Bettor’s Delight out of Fight Fire With Fire. Fight Fire With Fire was trained throughout her career by Mark Purdon and Grant Payne winning seven times in forty four starts banking $151,657. Heart Stealer is unraced and has a yearling filly by Sir Lincoln. “She (Heart Stealer) looked good on the sale day but she never grew from the day we bought her. She could have qualified but we decided to put her in foal.” In 2015 he also bought Change Time which had won seven races when trained by Ken Barron. She’s by Christian Cullen out of Chaanger and as a yearling was bought by Thompson Bloodstock for $45,000. Bain has bred an Art Major filly from the mare. “We bought her (Change Time) after we sold the Corriedale stud. I gave my grandson Ryan a half share. He’s a qualified mechanic.” Chaanger which was by Vance Hanover won six races in a limited career. Her claim to fame though was leaving Changeover the winner of 29 races and nearly two and a half million dollars. Bain has also recently purchased a weanling off Vin Devery which is by Bettor’s Delight out the 14 win Badland’s Hanover mare Western Dream. “Paul Davies did the deal. He also found Change Time for me. My nick name round here is Bunter so I’ve called this young one Bunter’s Dream. He’s being broken in at the moment.”  Bain has also been a part of the strong group of racing syndicates that Geoff and Jude Knight have set up in the Central Otago area. As well as being part of the successful Central Courage Syndicate he’s also in the Yshearasheep Syndicate which raced six win pacer Christian Ruler and the Gottashearasheep Syndicate which had success with Memphis Mafia. That syndicate’s latest race horse, a two year old by Mach Three colt out of Cap Off called Unloaded, qualified recently. “I said to somebody that you’re better off having a tenth share in ten horses than having one by yourself.” Bain was also a handy rugby player in his day playing halfback for Otago Country. He played in the same era as All Black halfback Chris Laidlaw. “I never played against him. He was too good for Town versus Country games.” He’s played golf over the years and has won local junior bowls titles. He also recently received a special contribution award for Harness Racing in Otago and is in his last year as President of the Roxburgh Trotting Club During his sheep breeding days he was President of the New Zealand Corriedale Society and the New Zealand Sheep Breeders Association. After he ceased breeding he was named a Life Member of both Associations as well as the Dorset Downs Association. After a lifetime involvement in matching rams with ewes, Bill Bain is more than ever carrying that knowledge and experience into breeding racehorses. He’s getting a lot of enjoyment from it and with his recent investment in modern bloodlines, I’m sure there’ll be more success to come. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

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