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Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) yesterday conducted an inquiry into a report from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory that Total Carbon Dioxide (TCO2) above the prescribed threshold was detected in a pre-race blood sample taken from THREE POINT TURN NZ prior to Race 1, the Form 700 Pace (1720 metres) at the Young harness meeting on Saturday 5 July 2014. The “B” sample for THREE POINT TURN NZ has been confirmed by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Victoria. Mr Townsend pleaded guilty to a charge under Rule 190(1), (2) & (4) for presenting the horse to race not free of a prohibited substance. Mr Townsend was disqualified for a period of 22 months to commence from 10 July  2014, the date upon which he  was stood down. In considering penalty, Stewards were mindful of the nature of the substance and the levels detected. In addition, Stewards were mindful of the guilty pleas entered and personal subjective facts. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, THREE POINT TURN NZ was disqualified from the abovementioned race. Harness Racing New South Wales

Racing Queensland stewards today inquired into the circumstances surrounding the analysts’ findings in respect to a pre-race blood sample taken from MACS CHOICE (NZ) prior to it competing in race 4 at Albion Park on 23 June 2014. The Queensland Government Racing Science Centre reported a level of Total Carbon Dioxide (TC02) in the blood sample in excess of the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Rules of Racing. Evidence was provided by the trainer Mr Doug Manger, who explained the circumstances and possible explanation for the elevated reading. After consideration, Mr. Manger was charged pursuant to Rule 190 (1) which reads: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances The particulars of the charge being that trainer Mr Doug Manger did present MACS CHOICE (NZ) for racing at Albion Park on 23 June 2014, when a pre-race blood sample taken from this horse was found, upon analysis, to contain a prohibited substance namely, Alkalinising Agents, as evidenced by total carbon dioxide (TC02) present at a concentration in excess of the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Rules of Racing. Mr Manger pleaded guilty to the charge. When assessing the matter of penalty, stewards took into account: The nature of the substance concerned The circumstances of the case Mr. Manger’s unblemished record under this rule over a 20 year period The need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to illustrate that drug free racing is of paramount importance to the integrity of Harness Racing. Mr Manger was disqualified for 6 months. Stewards directed under Rule 195 that MACS CHOICE NZ be disqualified from its 5th placing at Albion Park on 23 June 2014 and that all other placings should  be amended accordingly. Mr Manger was advised of his rights of appeal. Panel: D. Farquharson, K. Wolsey, P. Zimmermann

*What do Remiss, Valhalla, and Mattjestic Rebeck all have in common? well, apart from all having tested over the allowable TCO2 level they are all very nervous horses which became particularly stressed on the day the day in which the tested high. NZ Trainers and Drivers Association Secretary Peter T Cook, who has had his own personal experience with Valhalla, tells more. As you have probably read among the Remits being submitted to this years’ HRNZ Annual Conference, the Board, after a prolonged period of consideration, has finally decided to bring the allowable level of TC02 in line with pretty much every other jurisdiction in the World, i.e.36mmol/L, with a “guard band” of 1.0mmol/L. At the same time, however, they have also recommended an astonishingly large increase in the penalties involved for trainers who are found guilty for a first time. From a previously recommended $2-4000 for a first offence, the Board is proposing an automatic 2 year disqualification. The change has been likened to an increase from a ten year prison sentence to the death penalty in the real world. In other words, this would potentially be a career ending penalty for most, if not all trainers. The understanding is that most Australian states have a six month penalty for a first offence which is more realistic. Not only is this proposal totally out of “kilter’ with penalties attached to other charges, it is likely encourage someone whose career is in jeopardy and who had the financial wherewithal, to contest the matter in the Countrys’ legal system. All has a familiar ring to it, doesn’t it? Do we really want thousands of dollars more of Industry money keeping lawyers in the lifestyle they have become accustomed to? And while the Association is strongly supportive of measures against cheats, there is no guarantee that such legal proceedings against HRNZ would not be successful. Such a penalty offers no window for either the RIU or JCA for anyone to be found innocent. With a fine, even though it goes against natural justice, that may reluctantly be acceptable, but a two year ban is a different story. This decision has been made following long awaited, and somewhat controversial, advice from the HRNZ Veterinary Advisor Andrew Grierson. It is interesting to note that, in the press release from HRNZ, Chairman Gary Allen is quoting as saying “any positive will in almost all certainty be the result of an administration of prohibited substances.” The use of the word “almost” is interesting, considering that, in the past and currently, the RIU appear to have a policy of totally ignoring any evidence put before them suggesting a trainers’ innocence. This time last year, I had cause to have discussions with him concerning a horse in the stable I help out in, Valhalla. Andrew reeled off statistics (same as those accompanying the remit) stating categorically that the chances of a horse returning a level of 36mmol/L rises from around 15,000 to just over 2 million for a level of 37 without having TC02 administered. On the day that he was tested, Valhalla (normally a nervous horse at the races at the best of times) attempted to climb the walls of the float en route to the track, was bathed in sweat, was very agitated, and his eyes were out on storks as he was geared up. The RIU, as I could have told them, found no evidence of either Bicarbonate or anything to administer it with in the stables. The official reading was 38.2 which presumably makes him by far the rarest horse on the planet! While the requirement to present drug free horses is understandably paramount, this needs to be balanced with the rules of natural justice, and disqualifying a trainer for two years for a high level of a substance already present in every horse, doesn’t seem to match those requirements. It is quite possible that a Court of Law may take the same view, particularly when there is no evidence of wrongdoing by the trainer. Mark Jones is currently enduring the same nightmare of presenting compelling evidence that he did not administer bicarb, only to have it totally ignored by the authorities. As for performance enhancement, both Valhalla and Remiss, Marks’ horse that is currently under investigation, both finished last in their respective races! Peter T Cook (Courtesy of the Trainers and Drivers Association)

Training will become a game of Russian Roulette unless harness racing officials become more proactive investigating high bicarbonate levels and allow trainers to prove their innocence, says trainer Mark Jones. Jones, one of the country's most celebrated reinsmen and now a successful trainer at Burnham, is concerned at Harness Racing New Zealand's proposal to introduce strict new penalties for breaches of the TCO2 rule. A remit that will go before the annual general meeting of clubs in Christchurch next month would see the TCO2 threshold lifted from 35 to 36 (with a margin of error of one) to bring it into line with the thoroughbred code and overseas jurisdictions. But with it would come a dramatic rise in the penalties handed out, fines of only a few thousand dollars replaced by minimum disqualifications of two years for a first offence, five years for a second breach and 10 years for a third offence. The proposal came under immediate fire from Amberley trainer Jamie Keast yesterday when he was suspended for six months for his third high bicarb, after Westburn Creed tested 36.2 at Kaikoura last November. And while Jones says the lifting of the level is long overdue, he has good reason to oppose the draconian bans given he is facing a bicarb charge of his own after Remiss returned a level of 36.2 at Forbury Park on June 5 while Jones was away in Nelson. After the mare came close to testing high again on another trip to Dunedin three weeks later, returning 35.6, Jones was forced to sack the horse, not prepared to risk a second charge. Jones has no idea why Remiss tests high but says his attempts to prove his innocence have been rebutted by the Racing Integrity Unit. ''Under the rule, you can't beat them. It's one of strict liability and they say they don't have to do or prove anything. It's an easy kill for them.'' Jones said he had invited the RIU out to his property to show them the $100,000 CCT camera security system he had in place. But his assurances that he had taken all possible precautions were met by a blunt claim that the horse should not have been left unattended, albeit briefly, when strapper Kimberley Butt was out on the track driving. ''I told them I was prepared to pay for them to take the horse for a week then transport it down to Dunedin, test if before it leaves, then again on arrival to see if it its bicarb rises. ''They told me that even if the level went over 36, it would be no defence. Jones said all he was asking for was a measure of common sense and the chance to prove his innocence. And that would be an absolute necessity if HRNZ introduced two-year disqualifications for first offenders. ''I don't like being accused of things I haven't done and it's my livelihood on the line,'' said Jones, fearful that his lifeline of selling horses to Australia will be cut off if his reputation is dented. Jones said RIU investigator Kylie Williams told him if he wanted to race Remiss again she would give him permission to give her a warm-up on the track earlier in the night to lower her level by one to two points. ''But I refused. I shouldn't have to do that to be able to race a horse.'' Instead he passed Remiss on to his father Peter to train and, warmed up twice before she raced at Addington last week, she tested at 34.8. ''But if he hadn't warmed her up before the tests, the level could have been close to 36 or even over.'' Ironically, Peter Jones is also training Mattjestic Rebeck, who landed Rangiora hobby trainer Neville Gorrie in strife in June 2013 when it tested 36.3, resulting in his being fined $1800. Jones said it was simply outrageous to suggest that Gorrie, along with fellow respected Ladbrooks trainer Gavin Cook, whose horse Valhalla tested high at 37 and 38.3 last year, should be disqualified for two years. Jones, who has an earlier bicarb strike against his name, when Algeepee tested 38.2 at Addington in 2010, would be looking at five years out. ''You could never come back after that long. I'd have to sell my property.'' Jones said he's had other horses with unexplained bicarb variances, such as Fair Dinkum Bromac, whose resting paddock level of 30 routinely jumped four points when he went to the races. He had been the same when trained by John Hay. ''It's all very well for their vet to say high levels can only happen with administrations but so many things can affect them. ''I need to figure out why it's happening to me. Am I over-training them, is it in my feed? ''I know the pre-mix feed I use has preservatives in it. That wouldn't be enough to put the level over by itself but put that together with dehydration, stress, lung infections and you can come up with a lethal cocktail. That's scary.'' Courtesy of Barry Lichter Reprinted with permissin of Fairfax media  

Suspended harness trainer Jamie Keast applauds a move to lift the allowable level of bicarbonate in racehorses but he warns lengthy automatic bans could crucify the innocent. Keast, based at Amberley with his partner Henriette Westrum, has just been suspended for six months for his third breach of the bicarb rule, and says he is unlikely to return to training when his time is up at the end of the year. ''I've lost a lot of clients over this and I don't think I'll even bother training again,'' Keast said. ''I'm not making any money out of it. ''I can earn more money in 15 minutes shoeing a horse than I can training one.'' Keast said he basically put his hands in the air after Westburn Creed returned a level of 36.2 at Kaikoura last November even though he had not cheated. ''We knew after the last case that there was no point fighting them because of their strict liability rule and we're still struggling to pay off the last fine.'' Two containers of bicarbonate of soda were taken from Keats' feed room, along with a drenching tube and bucket but Keast denied that he put any bicarb into Westburn Creed's feed. He said they regularly drenched horses who had raced, trialled, or done fast work with a mixture of substances which included DMSO and one tablespoon of baking soda. But after Wally's Girl tested high last July they changed their practice and drenched their horses three days before a meeting, not two. The RIU's veterinary adviser Andrew Grierson said an administration three days before the race could not have elevated the horse's TCO2 levels on the day. Keast's counsel Mary-Jane Thomas submitted Westburn Creed had a throat condition which could have raised his bicarb level because it restricted the intake of oxygen and exhaling of carbon dioxide. After Westburn Creed underwent surgery in mid 2012, his levels decreased but about a year later, in October, 2013, their vet discovered the growth had returned. Thomas submitted Grierson did not expressly discount the possibility of the nasal obstruction being the cause, concluding rather that the readings did not support that as the likely cause. Grierson said the level was best explained statistically by the administration of an alkalising agent. Christopher Lange for the RIU said Westburn Creed's levels were between 32 and 34.1 when trained by Ivan Court, between 35.2 and 36.2 when with Keast and Westrum, and between 31.3 and 32.8 when taken over by Bob Rochford. Keast says he's all in favour of a Harness Racing New Zealand remit which will be put at the annual meeting of clubs in Christchurch next month that the level go up one point - with the built-in margin of error it would mean the new cutoff was 37, a threshold neither of his horses would have tripped. But he said rather than having automatic minimum sentences of two years for a first offence, five years for a second and 10 years for a third breach, penalties should be determined by the level. ''We reckon we're innocent and there have been a lot of other people crucified for this already. ''Any vet will tell you this is not an exact science. Lots of factors like dehydration, feed, nervousness and respiratory conditions can have an affect.'' Keast will be allowed to continue driving in races, and carry out his farrier work but he cannot work horses or break them in until January. Courtesy of Barry Lichter Reprinted with permission of Fairfax media  

A Canterbury trainer has been suspended for six months for breaching harness racing's drug rules - but under proposed changes future offenders could be banned for up to 10 years. Amberley based horseman Jamie Keast and his partner Henriette Westrum were outed for six months and fined $2000 after one of their horses, Westburn Creed, returned a high bicarbonate level at a Kaikoura race meeting last November. And while the level was just 0.2 above the permitted 36mmol/l, Judicial Control Authority committee chairman Geoff Hall said an aggravating factor was that it came just two weeks after they had been fined $2500 over another of their horses Wally's Girl recording a level of 37. It was Keast's third TCO2 charge, and Westrum's second, but Harness Racing New Zealand says it has no evidence that there is any resurgence in the practice of milkshaking which was the scourge of racing in the 1990s. Even though bicarbonate was found on Keast's property, his counsel Mary-Jane Thomas argued there was no evidence of  administration and the Racing Integrity Unit had been unable to determine the cause of the elevated level. She submitted Westburn Creed had been suffering from a respiratory problem, and that an obstruction in his nasal cavity could explain the elevated TCO2 level because it made it more difficult for the horse to inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. But Christopher Lange for the RIU submitted the results indicated the TCO2 level became elevated during the period Keast and Westrum trained the horse - and reduced after it left their care. HRNZ will put a remit to the annual meeting of clubs next month that the threshold of 35 be raised to 36 (with a margin of error of one) to bring it into line with the thoroughbred code and overseas jurisdictions. That, says HRNZ chief executive Edward Rennell, will reduce the risk of a false positive from one in  15,973 to one in 2,021,729. The new level would, however, carry a significantly higher deterrent. First offenders would be disqualified for a minimum of two years, second offenders five years and third offenders 10 years. But Keast is against automatic minimum sentences - ''We reckon we're innocent and there have been a lot of other people crucified for this already.'' Courtesy of Barry Lichter Reprinted with permission from Fairfax media

Effective 1 September 2014, Harness Racing New South Wales will introduce the following policy for horses that are presented to race with an Elevated TCO2 level in plasma greater than 35 mmol/Litre. The Trainer of any horse which records an elevated TCO2 level (above 35 mmol/L) will be required to present that horse on course at an earlier time than otherwise required. The time will vary depending on the status of the meetings. Trainers are reminded to ensure that they review their husbandry practices to ensure that they do not present horses in breach of the Rules. In particular trainers should be cognisant of any additional alkalinising supplements they may be rendering to their horse in the lead up to a race.  Particular Rules of consideration are: Rules 193 (1), (3) (4) which reads: 193.  (1)  A person shall not attempt to stomach tube or stomach tube a horse nominated for a race or event within 48 hours of the commencement of the race or event. (2)  A person shall not attempt to use or use an atomiser, face mask or other device for the administration of a prohibited substance to a horse nominated for a race or event within 48 hours of the commencement of the race or event.  (3)  A person shall not administer or allow or cause to be administered any medication to a horse on race day prior to such horse running in a race. (4)  Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-rule (3), a person, with the permission of the Stewards may administer or allow or cause to be administered any medication to a horse on race day prior to such horse running in a race. Trainers are further reminded that there can be no administration of any medications or substances on the race day prior to the horse running in the race. This includes any injections, stomach tube, oral syringe, tropical application, inhalation or other means including anything placed into the horse other than normal feeding and drinking. Between now and the implementation date of 1 September 2014, any trainer who presents a horse with a TCO2 level greater than 35mmol/Litre will receive notification of such, and be put on notice of the effect of such presentation when the below policy comes into effect. Policy The Trainer of a horse/s which has recorded a TCO2 level greater than 35 mmol/L is to present that horse/s on course earlier than what otherwise may be required, at all meetings for a period of not less than 8 weeks. Where a blood sample collected from a horse has been subsequently analysed and reported to have a plasma total carbon dioxide (TCO2) level at greater than 35mmol/Litre in plasma – the following conditions shall apply; 1. That for a period of 8 weeks following the results of analysis the Trainer of that horse/s shall present it on course in accordance with the following schedule;   (a) At 10.00am on the date on which the Metropolitan race meeting is being conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle.   (b) No less than 4 hours prior to the scheduled start time in which the horse is entered at all other meetings. 2. Should a Trainer fail to present his horse by the required times the horse shall be withdrawn from the race in which it was scheduled to participate and the Trainer may be subject to penalty. 3. Should the horse be transferred to another Trainer within the period of 8 weeks the  new Trainer, upon application to HRNSW, may have the embargo lifted. 4. HRNSW will publish a list on its website of all horses required to be presented under this policy including the name of the Trainer. Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 31 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government. To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: Name: Reid Sanders Position: Manager Integrity Phone: (02) 9722 6600 Email: rsanders@hrnsw.com.au  

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) today concluded inquiries into reports from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory that Total Carbon Dioxide (TCO2) above the prescribed threshold was detected in pre-race blood samples taken from the following horses at the Dubbo harness meeting on Sunday 25 May 2014. EAGLES ACE (Mr D Kenna)-  from race 3, the Peter Lew Memorial 3yo Pacing Cup (2120 metres); KENNEDY CREEK (Mr B Jones) – from race 7, the Karloo Mick Gratuity Pacing Cup (2525 metres). The “B” samples for EAGLES ACE and KENNEDY CREEK have been confirmed by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Victoria. Both trainers, Mr Kenna and Mr Jones, pleaded guilty to a charge under Rule 190, for presenting their respective horses to race not free of a prohibited substance. Mr Kenna and Mr Jones were disqualified for a period of 2 years to commence from 28 May 2014, the date upon which they were stood down. In considering penalty, Stewards were mindful of the nature of the substance and the levels detected. In addition, Stewards were mindful of the guilty pleas entered and personal subjective facts. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, EAGLES ACE and KENNEDY CREEK were disqualified from their respective races. Harness Racing New South Wales

Harness Racing NSW on Friday concluded an inquiry into a report from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory that the prohibited substances phenylbutazone and oxphenbutazone were detected in a post race urine sample taken from MAGICAL TELF NZ after it raced and won Race 3, the Slingsby Holdings Australasian Young Drivers Heat 2 (2300 metres) at Tabcorp Park Menangle Harness meeting on 15 February 2014. Trainer Mr D Braun pleaded guilty to a charge under Rule 190, for presenting MAGICAL TELF NZ to race not free of a prohibited substance. Mr Braun was disqualified for a period of 6 months to commence at midnight 30 May 2014. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the nature of the substance, that Mr Braun has a previous offence in 2007, the status of the race, his guilty plea and personal subjective facts. In ordering that the disqualification commence at midnight on 30 May 2014, the Stewards took into consideration the lateness of the conclusion of the inquiry and that Mr Braun had horses on course at Tabcorp Park Melton preparing to race and the impact it would have on the owners and public. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, MAGICAL TELF NZ was disqualified as the winner of the above mentioned race. Further acting under Rule 195A, Stewards ordered MAGICAL TELF NZ be disqualified from race 1, the SLINGSBY HOLDINGS AYDC DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP HEAT TEN conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Sunday 2 March 2014. This race was the final in the series. MAGICAL TELF NZ - Winning the race in question Harness Racing New South Wales

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) today acting under the provisions of Rule 183 has suspended the licenses of both Mr Blake JONES and Mr Drew KENNA effective immediately after receiving advice from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that Total Carbon Dioxide (TCO2) above the prescribed threshold was detected in pre race blood samples taken from their respective horses at the Dubbo harness meeting on Sunday 25 May 2014.  EAGLES ACE (Mr D Kenna)-  from race 3, the Peter Lew Memorial 3yo Pacing Cup (2120 metres);  KENNEDY CREEK (Mr B Jones) – from race 7, the Karloo Mick Gratuity Pacing Cup (2525 metres).  The “B” sample for EAGLES ACE has been confirmed by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Victoria. The “B” sample for KENNEDY CREEK has been delivered to RASL and is awaiting confirmation.  Inquiries into both of these findings are set for Monday, 2 June 2014, commencing at 1pm and 3pm respectively. Harness Racing New South Wales

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) today acting under the provisions of Rule 183 has suspended the license of Trainer/ Driver Mr Mark Hewitt effective immediately after receiving advise from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that O-desmethylvenlafaxine, has been detected in a post race urine sample taken from CHLOES VENTURE following it winning race 3, the Turners Furniture One Pace (2100 metres) at Young on Saturday, 15 March 2014. The “B” sample has been confirmed by Racing Analytical Services Limited in Victoria. No inquiry date for this matter has been set. Harness Racing NSW

Racing Queensland (RQ) stewards today inquired into the circumstances surrounding the analysts’ findings in respect to a pre-race blood sample taken from GREENMANS VALLEY prior to it competing in race 3, the Tattsbet For All Your Exotics Q1 Pace at Albion Park on the 15 March 2014. The Queensland Government Racing Science Centre reported a level of Total Carbon Dioxide (TC02) in the blood sample in excess of the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Rules of Racing. Confirmatory analysis conducted by the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory indicated an elevated level of TC02 but under the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Racing rules. Today evidence was provided by the trainer Mr. Stuart Hunter, who explained the circumstances and possible explanation for the elevated reading and his feeding and husbandry regime in the days prior to racing. Evidence was also tendered by Dr. Bruce Young on behalf of the Queensland Government Racing Science Centre. After consideration, Mr Stuart Hunter was charged pursuant to rule 190(1) which reads: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances The specifics of the charge being Mr. Stuart Hunter presented GREENMANS VALLEY to race at Albion Park on the 15 March 2014, when a pre-race blood sample was found upon analysis to contain a prohibited substance, namely TC02 at a level above the prescribed threshold Mr Hunter was found guilty to the charge. When assessing the matter of penalty, stewards took into account; The nature of the substance concerned Previous offences under this rule The circumstances of the case The need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to illustrate that drug free racing is of paramount importance to the integrity of Harness Racing. Mr. Stuart Hunter was disqualified for 12 months. Stewards directed under rule 195 that GREENMANS VALLEY be disqualified from its 3rd placing at Albion Park on the 15 March 2014. All other placegetters were amended accordingly. D Farquharson Chief Steward   (Harness) Panel: D Farquharson, C McLune, P Zimmermann      

Racing Queensland stewards today inquired into the circumstances surrounding the analysts’ findings in respect to a pre-race blood sample taken from ELVIS NZ prior to it competing in race 4 at Albion Park on the 28th December 2013. The Queensland Government Racing Science Centre reported a level of Total Carbon Dioxide (TC02) in the blood sample in excess of the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Rules of Racing. Evidence was provided by the trainer Mr. James Wanless, who provided an explanation for the elevated reading. After consideration, Mr. James Wanless was charged pursuant to rule 190(1) which reads: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances The particulars of the charge being that trainer Mr. James Wanless did present ELVIS NZ to the Albion Park Raceway on the 28th December 2013 for the purpose of engaging in a race, when a pre-race blood sample taken from this horse was found, upon analysis, to contain a prohibited substance, namely alkalinising agents as evidenced by total carbon dioxide present at the concentration above the threshold. Mr. James Wanless pleaded guilty to the charge. When assessing the matter of penalty, stewards took into account: The nature of the substance concerned The circumstances of the case Mr. Wanless’s previous convictions under this rule The need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to illustrate that drug free racing is of paramount importance to the integrity of Harness Racing. Mr. James Wanless was disqualified for 12 months. Stewards directed under Rule 195 that ELVIS NZ be disqualified from its 3rd placing at Albion Park on the 28th of December 2013 and that all other placing’s be amended accordingly. Mr. James Wanless was advised of his rights of appeal. Racing Queensland

Racing Queensland stewards today inquired into the circumstances surrounding the analysts’ findings in respect to a harness racing pre-race blood sample taken from AVIATORS DREAM prior to it competing in race 8 at Redcliffe on the 11th December 2013. The Queensland Government Racing Science Centre reported a level of Total Carbon Dioxide(TC02) in the blood sample in excess of the threshold as prescribed by the Australian Harness Rules of Racing. Evidence was provided by the trainer Mr. Gary Gerrard, who explained the circumstances and possible explanation for the elevated reading. After consideration, Mr. Gary Gerrard was charged pursuant to rule 190(1) which reads: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances The particulars of the charge being that trainer Mr. Gary Gerrard did present AVIATORS DREAM for racing at Redcliffe on the 11th of December 2013, when a pre-race blood sample taken from this horse was found upon analysis to contain a prohibited substance, namely TC02  above the prescribed threshold. Mr. Gary Gerrard pleaded guilty to the charge. When assessing the matter of penalty, stewards took into account: The nature of the substance concerned The circumstances of the case Mr. Gerrards’ unblemished record under this rule over a 30 year period The need for a penalty to serve as a deterrent to illustrate that drug free racing is of paramount importance to the integrity of Harness Racing. Mr. Gary Gerrard was disqualified for 6 months. Stewards directed under Rule 195 that AVIATORS DREAM be disqualified from its 5th placing at Redcliffe on the 11th of December 2013 and that all other placing’s be amended accordingly. Mr. Gary Gerrard was advised of his rights of appeal. 31 December 2013 Panel: D. Farquharson, P. Gillard, S. Watson Racing Queensland

The harness racing, greyhounds and throroghbred season ending 31 July 2012 marked the completion of the Racing Integrity Unit's (RIU) first full year of operation. It has been a year of significant progress for the organization.

On March 5, 2012, Signifier, trained by Timothy A. Bates licence # P33964, finished 8th in the fourth harness racing event at Woodbine.

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