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Harness Racing Victoria RAD Board Hearing - Shane Gilligan The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to a charge issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 190(1) against licensed Victorian trainer Mr Shane Gilligan. ARHR 190(1) reads as follows: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. The charge under ARHR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Gilligan related to a pre-race blood sample collected from the horse ‘My Mach Scooter’ prior to it placing 3 rd in Race 6, the ‘J L King Pace’ on 31 March 2016 at Bendigo. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the blood sample revealed the sample to contain a prohibited substance, namely alkalinising agents as evidenced by a total carbon dioxide (TCO2 ) concentration in excess of 36.0mmol/L in plasma. Mr Gilligan pleaded guilty to the charge before the HRV RAD Board who heard submissions on penalty from the HRV Stewards and Mr Gilligan. In deciding an appropriate penalty the HRV RAD Board considered Mr Gilligan’s good record as a trainer/driver over 30 years and no previous history for similar matters. The HRV RAD Board took into account the personal circumstances of Mr Gilligan including his current financial situation and his co-operation with the Stewards and a very early plea of guilty being entered in to which saved the need for witnesses being required. In deciding penalty, the HRV RAD Board took into account specific and general deterrence, consistency of penalty and Mr Gilligan’s guilty plea. In considering all of these matters, the HRV RAD Board imposed a fine of $6000.00 (with $3000.00 suspended for a period of 12 months) upon Mr Gilligan. The HRV RAD Board also ordered that ‘My Mach Scooter’ be disqualified from Race 6 at Bendigo on 31 March 2016. Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board 

Harness Racing South Australia Stewards today conducted an inquiry into a report from Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) that a blood sample taken from GO GO RED at Port Pirie on 29 July 2016 prior to it competing in Race 7, returned an elevated total plasma carbon dioxide (TCO2) concentration of 36.4mmol/L. Evidence was taken from trainer Cheryl Herman who explained her feeding and husbandry practices leading up to the race in question.  Evidence was also provided by Dr. Roger Haensel, Veterinarian.  Stewards also presented evidence of a non-raceday TCO2 sample taken from GO GO RED on 22 August 2016 that returned a TCO2 concentration of 31.6mmol/L. After considering all the available evidence, Stewards charged Mrs Herman under Rule 193(3) which reads: A person shall not administer or allow or cause to be administered any medication to a horse on raceday prior to such horse running in a race. Stewards were mindful of Rule 193(6) which states: For the purposes of this rule medication means any treatment with drugs or other substances.   Stewards placed weight on the expert evidence of Dr. Roger Haensel who explained that the only credible explanation for the elevated level of TCO2 detected in the blood sample taken from GO GO RED was due to the administration of alkalising agents on raceday. In determining penalty stewards took into account Mrs Herman’s guilty plea, her previous good record and previous penalties issued under this rule.  Stewards also accepted that the TCO2 level of 36.4mmol/L was not considered a prohibited substance, however this is not a requirement when considering if a person is in breach of Rule 193(3). Mrs Herman had her trainers licence suspended for 4 months effective 6 September 2016. Acting under Rule 193(5) GO GO RED was disqualified from its second placing at Port Pirie on 29 July. by Barbara Scott, Chair of Stewards

Panel: D Farquharson, K Wolsey, D Aurisch Racing Queensland (RQ) Stewards today concluded an inquiry into a report from the Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) that a blood sample taken from SHADOW SON at Albion Park on 26 February 2016 prior to it competing in Race 8, returned an elevated total plasma carbon dioxide (TCO2) concentration of 36.9 mmol/L on initial testing and 37.0 mmol/L on confirmatory analysis. Evidence was today taken from licensed trainer Mr Paul Matis who explained his feeding and husbandry practices leading up to the race in question.  Evidence was also provided by Dr Karen Caldwell and Samantha Nelis, (RSC). After considering all the available evidence Stewards issued Mr Matis with a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 193 (3) which reads:             “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.” Stewards were mindful of Rule 193 (6) which states:             “For the purposes of this rule medication means any treatment with drugs or other substances.” The particulars of the charge being that Mr Matis, as the licensed trainer of SHADOW SON when it raced at Albion Park on 26 February 2016, did administer or allow or cause to be administered medication, namely an alkalinising agent, to that horse on race day. Stewards placed significant weight on the expert evidence provided by Dr Caldwell whose opinion is based on peer reviewed scientific research and statistical analysis.  This evidence supported the notion that the only credible explanation for the elevated level of TCO2 detected in the blood sample taken from SHADOW SON was by way of administration of an alkalinising agent on race day.  Stewards also took into consideration the analysis of a resting blood sample taken from SHADOW SON, and the fact that other race day blood samples taken from SHADOW SON when in the care of Mr Matis returned TCO2 levels within the average range. Mr Matis pleaded not guilty to the charge as issued, however after further consideration, Stewards found the charge could be sustained and found him guilty. When assessing an appropriate penalty Stewards accepted that the measurement of 36.9 mmol/L and 37mmol/L did not give rise to a positive sample when taking into account the 1 mmol/L allowance for the measurement of uncertainty, however a positive result is not required when Stewards consider whether a person is in breach of AHR Rule 193 (3).  Mr Matis’s previous unblemished record under this rule, his  45 year license history, his personal circumstances and penalty precedents for a breach of this rule were also taken into account. Stewards were of the opinion that any penalty imposed must serve as both a specific deterrent and a general deterrent to reflect the seriousness of the charge and to illustrate to the industry that a breach of this nature will not be tolerated. Mr Matis was fined $5000. Acting under AHR Rule 193 (5) SHADOW SON was disqualified from its 10th placing from Race 8 at Albion Park on 26 February 2016 and all other placegetters were amended accordingly. Mr Matis was advised of his rights of appeal.

Police have moved to ban a Mokbel family associate and accused race-fixer from Victorian harness racing tracks. Paul Sequenzia was recently asked to leave a restricted area at a metropolitan meeting by Harness Racing Victoria investigators. They want to take that further and have made a submission for Victoria Police to ban him from tracks. Mr Sequenzia remains a regular presence at harness-racing meetings, to the concern of some industry figures. Allegations he has been involved in a cobalt horse-doping program and that he is connected to a race-fixing syndicate have some questioning what he is doing on-track. To read the full article written by Mark Buttler and Carly Crawford for The Herald Sun click on this link.

At its meeting of December 18, 2015, the Board of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) approved the revision to Penalty Guidelines for Equine Drug, TCO2, and Non-Therapeutic Drug Offences. To view the Guidelines click here.

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board yesterday heard a matter in regards to charges issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Rules of Harness Racing (ARHR) 190(1) and 190B against licensed NSW trainer Mr Anthony Wilson. ARHR 190(1) reads as follows: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.    The charge under ARHR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Wilson related to a prerace blood sample collected from the horse ‘Three Mugs In’ prior to it placing 8th in Race 5, the ‘IRT Breeders Crown Series 17 (3YO Colts and Geldings)(2nd Reprecharge)’, at Kilmore on 12 August 2015. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the blood sample revealed the sample to contain a prohibited substance, namely alkalinising agents as evidenced by a total carbon dioxide (TCO2) concentration in excess of 36.0mmol/L in plasma. Mr Wilson pleaded guilty to the charge before the HRV RAD Board heard submissions on penalty from the HRV Stewards and Mr Wilson. In deciding an appropriate penalty the HRV RAD Board considered Mr Wilson’s offence record in that he had previously breached the same rule in 2013, both specific and general deterrence, consistency of penalty and Mr Wilson’s guilty plea. In considering all of these matters, the HRV RAD Board imposed a 12 month disqualification upon Mr Wilson. The RAD Board ordered the disqualification commence with immediate effect. Mr Wilson pleaded guilty to the charge under ARHR 190B in that he failed to keep and maintain a log book and was subsequently fined $250. The HRV RAD Board also ordered that ‘Three Mugs In’ be disqualified from Race 5 at Kilmore on 12 August 2015 Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing South Australia Stewards finalised an inquiry that was opened on 30 July 2015 into a report from Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) that a blood sample taken from SIR ROBERTY BOB at Globe Derby on 25 July 2015 prior to it competing in Race 6, returned on initial screening an elevated total carbon dioxide (TCO2) concentration of 36.9 millimoles per litre. RASL conducted further testing on this pre-race blood sample and reported a TCO2 level of 36 for the ‘A’ sample and 36.5 for the ‘B’ sample. On 20 August 2015 and 24 August 2015 non-raceday blood samples were taken from SIR ROBERTY BOB with RASL reporting TCO2 levels of 33.4 and 31.1 respectively. On 29 August 2015 a pre-race blood sample was taken from SIR ROBERTY BOB prior to it racing at Globe Derby.  RASL reported the TCO2 level to be 31.9. The inquiry resumed on 24 September 2015 and evidence was taken from trainer Rick Frearson regarding his feeding and husbandry practices together with details of his movements on 25 July 2015.  Evidence was also taken from Veterinarian Dr. Roger Haensel which included that for a horse to return a TCO2 level of  36.9, 36 and 36.5, in his opinion, it would have received alkalising agents on raceday.  Stewards submitted into evidence the pre-race TCO2 levels of SIR ROBERTY BOB dating back to 2010, the pre-race TCO2 levels of other horses currently in Rick Frearsons care and the average TCO2 levels of all horses tested in SA over the past 3 seasons, that being 30.99. On 20 October 2015 the inquiry resumed and Rick Frearson was charged under Rule 193(3) which states: 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. Stewards were mindful of Rule 193(6) which states: for the purposes of this rule medication means any treatment with drugs or other substances. The particulars being that Rick Frearson, as the trainer of SIR ROBERTY BOB has allowed or caused that horse to be administered a medication on raceday prior to the horse running in a race.  Stewards are of the opinion that a trainer has an obligation under the rules to ensure his horses are safeguarded on raceday and he should take steps to prevent unauthorised administration on raceday and the days leading up to raceday. In determining penalty stewards took into account Rick Frearson’s personal circumstances, his record as a trainer which included a previous offence for prohibited substances and his not guilty plea.  Rick Frearson had his trainers licence suspended for 6 months. Acting under Rule 193(5), stewards ordered that SIR ROBERTY BOB be disqualified from Race 6 at Globe Derby on 25 July 2015 and the placegetters be amended accordingly. by Barbara Scott, Chair of Stewards

The Board of Harness Racing New South Wales yesterday approved amendments to the Elevated TCO2 Policy. The amendments now require a horse to be on the Elevated TCO2 list for a period of 6 race starts, as opposed to 8 weeks. The Policy has also been strengthened to allow the HRNSW Integrity Department to order horses to be subjected to a period of time in the HRNSW Retention Facility, no matter where that horse is stabled or entered to race. HRNSW also places Trainers on notice that they will investigate elevated TCO2 levels recorded and those Trainers may be subject to further action if HRNSW determine that there is a significant variance between the elevated level and "controlled levels" obtained by HRNSW. The new Policy below comes into effect from 1 November 2015: 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 6 race starts. 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. For the period of 6 race starts 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 6 race starts the new Trainer, upon application to HRNSW, may have the embargo lifted, however HRNSW reserves the right to refuse to lift this requirement. 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. 5. HRNSW may at its discretion determine that a Trainer whom has been listed on the elevated TCO2, will have their horses subject to a period of time in the HRNSW Retention Facility prior to their horses competing at a race meeting, no matter where the trainer is normally located or the race meeting is being conducted. 6. HRNSW will consider the elevated level recorded by the horse, and will compare such level with those previously recorded or controlled samples taken, and should it be determined that there is significant variance the horse and or Trainer maybe stood down from racing pending the outcome an Inquiry. Reid Sanders

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) today conducted an inquiry into a report received from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory that plasma Total Carbon Dioxide (TCO2) above the prescribed threshold was detected in a pre-race blood sample taken from PRECIOUS M NZ prior to race 6, the DUBBO HARNESS​ RACING CLUB AWARDS 25TH SEPT PACE (2120 metres) conducted at Dubbo on Sunday 13 September 2015. Mr Peter Reynolds appeared at the inquiry. Evidence including the Reports of Analysis was presented to the Inquiry. Evidence was also taken from Mr Reynolds regarding the training of PRECIOUS M NZ, his husbandry practices and circumstances preceding the race. Evidence was also presented to the Inquiry by veterinarian Dr Don Crosby on behalf of Mr Reynolds and the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory Science Manager, Dr Adam Cawley. Mr Reynolds was issued with a charge pursuant to Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) for presenting PRECIOUS M NZ to race not free of a prohibited substance. He pleaded not guilty to the charge. The Stewards found the charge laid against Mr Reynolds to be proven. In determining the charge against Mr Reynolds, Stewards relied upon Australian Harness Racing Rules 191 (1) & (3) as the second certificate from Racing Analytical Services LTD reported a plasma Total Carbon Dioxide (TCO2) level of 36.6 mmol/L. Mr Reynolds was disqualified for a period of 15 months to commence from 18 September 2015 the date upon which he was stood down. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following; This was Mr Reynolds 1st offence for a Prohibited Substance; Class 2 Prohibited Substance; Mr Reynold’s licence history and other personal subjective facts. The fact that this charge was based upon prima facie evidence in relation to the first certificate issued by the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory.            Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, PRECIOUS M NZ was disqualified from the abovementioned race. Reid Sanders

HRSA Stewards finalised an inquiry into a report received from Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) that a pre race blood sample taken from Livingisfun prior to Race 2, Arclight Photography Claiming Pace, at Globe Derby on 8 August 2015, that upon analysis reported the presence of total plasma carbon dioxide (TCO2) greater than the 36mmol/L threshold. The ‘B’ sample was sent to the Chem Centre in WA which reported the presence of TCO2 at the threshold level.              Evidence was taken from Mr. Shane Loone regarding this feeding and husbandry practices and Mr. Paul Zahra, Scientific Manager from RASL.  Mr. Zahra provided evidence on the degradation of the TCO2 concentration of ‘B’ samples. Mr. Loone was charged under Rule 190(1), (2) & (4), that as the licenced trainer of LIVINGISFUN he did present that horse to race at Globe Derby on 8 August 2015 when not free of a prohibited substance. In determining the matter of guilt Stewards placed significant weight on the expert evidence provided by Mr. Zahra whose opinion is based on peer reviewed scientific research and statistical analysis. Stewards also took into account the previously recorded TCO2 levels of Livingisfun whilst under the care of Mr. Loone and the TCO2 levels under the care of other trainers, that this case was a prima facie matter, Mr. Loone’s previous record and his personal circumstances. Mr. Loone was disqualified for 9 months effective immediately. Mr. Loone has lodged an appeal and has been granted a stay of proceedings. Barbara Scott, Chair of Stewards

Sample Irregularities Harness Racing South Australia has been advised by Racing Analytical Services Ltd (RASL) of sample irregularities.   LIVINGISFUN – Trainer S. Loone. RASL have advised HRSA that Total Carbon Dioxide (TCO2) above the prescribed threshold was detected in a pre-race blood sample taken from LIVINGISFUN prior to it competing in Race 2, The Arclight Photography Claiming Pace, conducted at Globe Derby on Saturday 8 August 2015. The ‘B’ sample was sent to the Chem Centre in Western Australia where TCO2 was detected at the threshold level. Trainer S. Loone is required to attend an inquiry which will be held at 1pm on Friday 28 August 2015. Barbara Scott, Chair of Stewards

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to a charge issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 190(1) against licensed NSW trainer Mr Michael Day (Jnr). ARHR 190(1) reads as follows:  A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. The charge under ARHR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Day related to a pre-race blood sample collected from the horse ‘Fake Art’ prior to it placing 2nd in Race 9, the ‘Cobram Lions Club Pace’, at Cobram on 7 May 2015. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the blood sample revealed the sample to contain a prohibited substance, namely alkalinising agents as evidenced by a total carbon dioxide (TCO2 ) concentration in excess of 36.0mmol/L in plasma. The Racing Science Centre in Queensland reported confirmation of this finding in the reserve portion of the relevant blood sample. Mr Day pleaded guilty to the charge before the HRV RAD Board heard submissions on penalty from the HRV Stewards and Mr Day. In deciding an appropriate penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered the nature of the substance involved, other previous cases involving the substance in Victoria, Mr Day’s evidence that he could not explain the finding, Mr Day’s early guilty plea and cooperation throughout the investigation, Mr Day’s offence record in that he had previously breached the same rule in 2006 for an elevated TCO2 level and his licence history in that he had held a training licence for a period of approximately 10 years and been involved in the sport for an even longer period. In considering all of these matters, the HRV RAD Board imposed an 18 month disqualification upon Mr Day (Jnr). The RAD Board ordered the disqualification commence with immediate effect. The HRV RAD Board also ordered that ‘Fake Art’ be disqualified from Race 9 at Cobram on 7 May 2015 and that the finishing places be amended accordingly. Harness Racing Victoria

Harness racing chiefs are pushing for a new rule to prohibit the administration of alkalising agents for one clear day before a horse races to stamp out the practice of "half-shaking." The move is a precursor to the introduction of far tougher penalties for high bicarb levels and is expected to generate the most debate at the annual conference of racing clubs in Christchurch next month. The remit, recommended by the Racing Integrity Unit and the equine codes' veterinary advisor Dr Andrew Grierson, seeks to amend the current rule which prevents alkalising agents being given on raceday. The "milkshaking" of horses has been a significant threat to the integrity of the industry since its height in the 1990s when unscrupulous trainers loaded their animals up with bicarb to stop the build-up of lactic acid and delay muscle fatigue. But while high levels are rare these days, persistent cheaters have been known to give lower doses, known as "half-shakes". And it had been shown internationally that by prohibiting the administration of alkalising agents on the day prior to the race, the incidence of "half-shaking" is significantly reduced. In most horses, the beneficial effect of a milkshake peaks six hours after administration and the TCO2 level returns to normal after 12 hours.  The rule change is designed to bring New Zealand into line with overseas racing jurisdictions and further enhance stakeholder confidence in the harness industry. Grierson believes now that the TCO2 threshold has been raised to 36 - and trainers aren't prosecuted unless the level is over 37 - the next step is to bring in the one clear day restriction so "there was not a shadow of doubt that breaches signalled "intent". "The previous system wasn't working because we were still getting TCO2 anomalies occurring and the one thing we don't want is to have innocent people being charged." Grierson said the chances of a TCO2 level of 37 being a naturally occurring event were one in two million and, at the actionable level of 37.1, the chances were one in 3.9 million. The stats were one in 5893 million for a level over 38. "A lot of people in the industry believe the JCA shold adopt penalties reflecting those statistical odds," said Grierson who believes the authority is receptive to the call. Grierson said under the present rule it was possible for cheats to shake a horse the night before raceday in the hope its level would still be raised slightly for competition. Ironically, there was no data to support the theory that "half-shaked" horses performed better. Horses with levels of 34-35 did not win more races than those with levels closer to the national mean of 30.6. And the levels of horses who finished in the first five were not higher than the also-rans. "There is no medical justification for treating your horse that close to a race and, if you have to, is your horse suitable to race anyway?" Horseman should have no concern that the rule might impinge on their animals' welfare by preventing traditional treatments when away at a two-day meeting. If a trainer felt a horse who'd raced say on a Friday needed a drench the next day to help it recover for a Sunday race, they could still seek an exemption from a stipendiary steward. The clear move in international circles was to extend the previously accepted no-treatment-on-raceday to one of no treatment for one clear day before racing. Already Australian authorities had moved to make it illegal to administer any cobalt-raising supplement for one clear day before competition. In other remits to go before the conference: ■ It will be an offence for a person to not only acquire, but attempt to acquire, an out-of-competition banned substance. Those substances are the ones for which there is no therapeutic reason for use at any time. ■ Horses injected with corticosteroids in the preceding eight days will be banned not only from racing but also from being trained on a club-run track. While a valuable way of managing inflammatory joint disease, corticosteroids can be undetectable in urine but still having an effect, thereby hiding impending failure and increasing the risk of catastrophic events.   ■ The 30 metre distance stipulation for horses being disqualified if their sulky wheels track inside the marker line will be removed. The rule change seeks to have horses able to be put out if they are deemed to have merely gained an advantage, rather than focusing on the distance covered inside the markers. Judicial committees would have more discretion to deal with individual cases. Horses whose wheels go inside the markers trying to force a run they are not entitled to inside the passing lane could then be disqualified, regardless of distance travelled.  And, on the other hand, horses three back on the markers, who go inside markers but cannot possibly benefit from it, do not have to be automatically put out.    ■ To clarify a rule introduced last year,  the connections of a horse which is interfered with can seek compensation from the owners of  the culprit, but only if its chances of receiving higher stake money are prejudiced. Owners have until 30 minutes after the last race to lodge an information with the stewards who may order that a portion of the stake money earned by the transgressor be paid to the victim. Under the new rules, horses cannot be promoted ahead of those who interfere with them unless it can be proved they would have beaten that runner home without the interference. Barry Lichter

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards today conducted an inquiry into a report received from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory that plasma Total Carbon Dioxide (TCO2) above the prescribed threshold was detected in a pre-race blood sample taken from OUR RED SKY NIGHT NZ prior to it running in race 6, THE GARRARDS HORSE AND HOUND PACE (1609 metres) conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday 7 July 2015. The “B” sample was confirmed by Racing Analytical Services in Victoria. Mr Wardle appeared at the inquiry and presented evidence regarding the training of OUR RED SKY NIGHT NZ and his husbandry practices. Evidence including the Reports of Analysis and expert evidence from Harness Racing NSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr Wainscott was also presented. Mr Wardle was issued with a charge pursuant to Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) for presenting OUR RED SKY NIGHT NZ to race not free of a prohibited substance. Mr Wardle pleaded guilty to that charge. In respect of the charge under Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4), Mr Wardle was disqualified for a period of 3 years 9 months to commence from 10 July 2015, the date upon which he was stood down. Mr Wardle was granted 7 days to attend to the affairs of his stable. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following; This was Mr Wardle’s 2nd offence for Prohibited Substance offences;Class 2 Prohibited Substance;The level of 38.6 mmol/L detected;Mr Wardle’s licence history and other personal subjective facts. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, OUR RED SKY NIGHT NZ was disqualified from the abovementioned race. Reid Sanders - HRNSW  

Racing Queensland (RQ) Stewards today conducted an inquiry into a report from the Queensland Government Racing Science Centre (RSC) that a blood sample taken from A Good Chance at the harness racing meeting at Albion Park on 16 May 2015 prior to it competing in the Seymour Nursery Pace 3YO Colts and Geldings Final returned an elevated total plasma carbon dioxide (TCO2) concentration of 36.0 mmol/L. Evidence was today taken from licensed trainer Mr Donny Smith and owner Mrs Maureen Smith. Explanations were tendered regarding feeding and husbandry practices leading up to the race in question. Evidence was also provided by Dr Bruce Young, Manager, Veterinary Services at the RSC. Submissions tendered by Dr Young suggested that an elevated total plasma carbon dioxide concentration will equilibriate within 24 hours. This evidence did not support Mr Smith’s assertion that the elevated level of TCO2 was due to factors such as excitement, dehydration and having a second race start within the week, which Mr Smith identified as the only difference to the horse’s normal racing routine. After considering all the available evidence Stewards issued Mr Smith with a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 193 (3) which reads: “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.” Stewards were mindful of Rule 193 (6) which states: For the purposes of this rule medication means any treatment with drugs or other substances.” The particulars of the charge being that Mr Donny Smith, as the licensed trainer of A Good Chance when it raced at Albion Park on 16 May 2015, did administer or allow or cause to be administered medication, namely an alkalinising agent, to that horse on race day. After considering further submissions, Stewards were of the view that on the balance of probability the charge could be sustained and found Mr Smith guilty of the charge as issued. In determining the matter of guilt Stewards placed significant weight on the expert evidence provided by Dr Young whose opinion is based on peer reviewed scientific research and statistical analysis. This evidence supported the notion that the only credible explanation for the elevated level of TCO2 detected in the blood sample taken from A Good Chance was by way of administration of an alkalinising agent on race day. Stewards also took into consideration the analysis of a resting blood sample taken from A Good Chance on 4 June 2015 which revealed a TCO2 concentration of 27.3 mmol/L, and the fact that all other race day blood samples taken from A Good Chance returned TCO2 levels within the average range. When assessing an appropriate penalty Stewards accepted that the measurement of 36.0 mmol/L and the confirmatory reading of 35.5 mmol/L did not give rise to a positive sample, however a positive result is not required when Stewards consider whether a person is in breach of AHR Rule 193 (3). Mr Smith’s previous unblemished record over an approximate 20 year period, his personal circumstances and penalty precedents for a breach of this rule were also taken into account. Stewards were of the opinion that any penalty imposed must serve as both a specific deterrent and a general deterrent to reflect the seriousness of the charge and to illustrate to the industry that a breach of this nature will not be tolerated. Mr Smith was fined $5000. Acting under AHR Rule 193 (5) A Good ChanceE was disqualified from its 3rd placing in the 2015 Seymour Nursery Pace 3YO Colts and Geldings Final and all other placegetters were amended accordingly. Mr Smith was advised of his rights of appeal. Panel: D Farquharson, K Wolsey, J Dart

On Friday 10 July 2015, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW), acting under the provisions of Rule 183, suspended the Trainer’s licence of Mr Neal Wardle, effective immediately. It did so after receiving advice from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that Total Carbon Dioxide (TCO2) above the prescribed threshold was detected in a pre-race blood sample taken from Our Red Sky Night NZ prior to it running in race 6, THE GARRARDS HORSE AND HOUND PACE (1609 metres) conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday 7 July 2015. The “B” sample has been confirmed by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Victoria. Mr Wardle was given an opportunity to be heard on the imposition of Rule 183 and he provided submissions that were considered by HRNSW Stewards. Acting under the provisions of Rule 183A, it has been determined that Our Red Sky Night NZ, the horse subject of the certificates, shall not be nominated or compete in any race until the outcome of an inquiry or investigation. This also has immediate effect. An inquiry has been scheduled for 2pm on Thursday 16 July 2015. Harness Racing New South Wales

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